Don’t get caught by this email scam

By | February 1, 2010
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In the Computers newsletter this month:

  • Don’t get caught by this email scam
  • Changing the size of text in menus, icons and so on…
  • The Kerfuffle about Internet Explorer
  • Inner Circle – places available from Wednesday


A couple of internet security things you should know about this time, along with how to make it easier to read the little menus you get in all sorts of programs.

Don’t get caught by this email scam

The latest email scam that’s catching lots of people out looks like it comes from either UPS or DHL – one of the delivery companies (and I bet in a few days there’ll be versions looking like it’s Royal Mail, Fedex and so on…)

It says they attempted to deliver a parcel and you were out.  If you’ll just open the attachment they’ll arrange to re-deliver it whenever you’d like.

Don’t do it!  The attachment contains a virus, not the label you’re promised.  Luckily, lots of anti-virus programs stop it from opening anyway but it’s best not to take the risk.

Changing the size of text in menus, icons and so on

I often get asked about changing the size of the writing on the screen.  (By the way, getting a bigger screen doesn’t necessarily help – it normally just means you can fit more on rather than making it bigger)

Webpages are the most common problem – some pages just have writing that’s too small.  You can make it bigger using the little magnifying glass in the bottom right hand corner of the Internet Explorer window, or by holding the ctrl key on the keyboard and rolling the mouse wheel upwards.

But what about the writing in menus?  Or below icons?  If that’s too small, it can be hard to open the right program in the first place!  Having the writing in the menus and so on just a little bit bigger can make the PC much easier to use.

Luckily, it’s not too hard to change.  Here’s what to do:

  1. Right click on a blank bit of the desktop.
  2. In XP, choose “Properties”.  In Vista or Windows 7, it’s “Personalize”
  3. In XP, Click on the Appearance tab at the top then, near the bottom, where it says “Font size”, choose Large or Extra Large and click Apply.  You can always try one, see how it looks, then try the other.  Then click on OK and it’s done.
  4. In Vista, click on Adjust Font size on the left.  You might then need to click on Continue.  Then choose 120 DPI – the second of the two options you get and click on Apply.  It’ll want to restart the PC – let it and when the PC restarts, it’ll have bigger writing.
  5. In Windows 7, click on “Display”, near the bottom of the screen on the left.  Choose a size from the three options that appear and click on Apply.  I’ll want to log you off – let it and when the PC restarts, it’ll have bigger writing.

Security in Internet Explorer – what’s all the kerfuffle about?

There’s been a lot of kerfuffle lately (for example see this article in the Telegraph: about a security flaw in Internet Explorer.

Lots of people have been quite worried – should they stop using Internet Explorer and switch to Google Chrome or Firefox?

Well, you can do.  Personally, I find Chrome is a little bit quicker and a bit less likely to crash, so I like it (you can get it here:  But I use Internet Explorer as well, to keep up to date, and it’s also a good program.

But it’s not all as bleak as the papers are making out.  Yes, there was a flaw in Internet Explorer and yes, it meant other people could hack your PC.  Not good news!  But it’s already been fixed – Microsoft sorted it within a day or two of the problem happening.

If you have Automatic Updates turned on (and you should – so you get things like this straight away!) then your computer will have already protected itself against the flaw.  If not (or you’re not sure and want to be certain), you can get it (and other updates) from here:

But if you’re happy with Internet Explorer, I wouldn’t recommend switching just because of this.

Places available in the Inner Circle – from Wednesday

A quick note – I’ll be opening the new places in the Inner Circle on Wednesday, at midday.  Since you’re on the waiting list, you’ll get “first dibs”.  It seems only fair to give you the first chance since you’ve already let me know that you’re interested.

Then after a few days, if there are any places left, I’ll open them up to other people as well.

Don’t forget, you can still watch the video where you can see the clubroom, my journal, the articles, videos and downloads you’ll have access to once you’re a member.  It’s here:

That’s all for this time.  I’m off to put the last finishing touches on the Inner Circle.


Tim Wakeling

PS Do you know someone who’d like to receive this newsletter themselves?  Could you be the one to make using PCs much easier for them?

All they need to do is visit and sign-up for free.  Or you could forward them this email and tell them to click here.

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