Microsoft never sends out updates by email so you should instantly bin this latest threat, which has been doing the rounds over the last 24 hours, I’ve already had about 50 of them sent to me. It’s really easy to spot, the Subject line says ‘Critical Update for Microsoft Outlook and if you open it, it says: Update for Microsoft Outlook / Outlook Express (KB910721). Obviously it’s nothing of the sort though it looks very plausible and has none of the usual clumsy spelling and grammatical errors. If you click on the link you will be taken to a spoof website and instantly download a nasty Trojan, though there are some reports suggesting that the payload may have changed in the past 12 hours. Either way don’t open it and do not on any account click on the link, and at the risk of repeating myself, remember that, Microsoft never sends out updates for Windows by email.

Index.dat files are windows system files on windows which records every web site you visit with internet explorer. These files are hidden on your computer that contain all of the Web sites that you have ever visited.

Every URL, and every Web page is listed there. Not only that but all of the email that has been sent or received through Outlook or Outlook Express is also being logged. Microsoft has not supplied an adequate explanation as to what these files are for or why they have been hidden so well.

According to Microsoft, these index.dat files are used to store cache of visited sites to speed up the loading of sites in Internet Explorer. But this cannot be the case because when we delete the Temporary Internet Files the “index.dat” files remain behind.

Irrespective of what ever program you have been using to clean windows history they may clean but does not delete index.dat files on your computer as they protected in real time by windows operating system. More »

Although Outlook Express was known to be rather vulnerable to online attacks, viruses and spyware, recent updates have improved Outlook Express security a lot. Considering that many use Outlook Express for e-mail and news reading, it is reassuring that Microsoft has addressed most known security holes.

As with most software though, security can be harmed when users get sloppy in how they use the software and how they configure the software. This is especially true with online applications. If you allow all kinds of content in e-mail or click every attachment you receive, no protection will be good enough.

So use good judgment when using Outlook Express to minimize your exposure to online threats. For MAXIMUM Outlook Express security consider the following tips too.

Windows and Outlook Express Updates

Regularly update your Windows XP software. Outlook Express is an integrated part of Windows XP, so any patches or updates to Outlook Express are released through Windows XP updates. If you have Windows updates set to automatic, Outlook Express will be updated as well. If you set Windows updates to ‘disabled’, then you need to manually update Windows XP. More »

If you’re going on vacation, you’re probably looking forward to getting away from the phone. But e-mail is less intrusive, and many of us want to bring it with us.

That used to be a real chore. But accessing e-mail from anywhere has become easier over the years. Today, it’s not much more difficult than downloading it at the office.

The key is finding decent PC access to the Internet on the road. Most hotels offer such access. Even a dial-up account is OK for downloading e-mail. And with Wi-Fi hotspots all over urban areas, fast access is a snap.

Of course, you have to find a way to access your e-mail server. So let’s look at how that can be done. More »