Inside This Issue

Surfer Beware
Protect Yourself From Internet Security Threats

Ask The Help Desk
What is an RSS Feed?

Sites Of The Month
Great Sites To Check Out In May!

Short Tutorial
How To Speed Up Slow E-Mail


Hello NCKCN internet members

There are lots of reasons to spring into action in this month's eNewsletter. Learn how cybercrooks are exploiting an Internet Explorer security hole and what you can do to protect yourself. Find out how to "clean house" when your e-mail database gets too full. And for the ultimate in action, take an insider's look at the new Mission: Impossible: III movie.

The goal of each of our monthly eNewsletters is to keep our subscribers informed regarding their Internet connection and to improve their Internet experience. To meet this goal, each monthly newsletter will usually contain information related to:

  1. Warnings on a recent virus or e-mail hoax that may affect you
  2. An update on new services and other local interests
  3. An answer to a frequently asked Internet related question
  4. Some fun, seasonal websites to check out
  5. A short, step-by-step tutorial on an e-mail or browser related task
We think you'll find the information contained in this newsletter to be a valuable tool for enhancing your Internet experience. If, however, you'd prefer not to receive these bulletins on a monthly basis, click HERE.

To see what's inside this issue, take a look at the index to the left and thanks for reading!

- The NCKCN Team

Surfer Beware - Protect Yourself From Internet Security Threats

Last month, Microsoft Corp. issued a software fix (called a "patch") to address a critical security hole in its Internet Explorer Web browser - a flaw cybercrooks had already discovered and begun to exploit. The flaw allows intruders to seize control of the PCs of anyone visiting their malicious websites, potentially giving them the ability to install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

If you're one of the many who use Internet Explorer, take note of this recent cybercrook scheme. To lure unsuspecting victims to these websites, spam e-mails are sent out asking you to click on links to news stories about the U.S. dollar vs. other currencies. After clicking on the link, your PC freezes up for approximately 30 seconds while the website installs a software program that captures online bank account log-ins and sends them back to cybercrooks.

To protect your computer from this and other serious threats, Microsoft Corp. offers a free security updates system that includes the posting of any new security bulletin updates on the second Tuesday of each month. A list of Microsoft security updates is available at If you use Microsoft products (such as Internet Explorer, Windows, Office, and MSN Messenger), we strongly recommend you visit this web page monthly to download the critical software fixes listed there. An even better idea is to have a "Microsoft Security Updates Alert" automatically sent to you each month by Microsoft Corp. Simply go to At this web page, you can sign up to receive e-mail, instant messaging, or RSS alerts each time a major security update is released.

The Microsoft Windows Update website,, provides another easy way to quickly install software fixes for Microsoft products. When you visit this web page, your PC is automatically scanned for missing critical software updates, providing you with a list of updates that you can choose to install.

It is worth repeating that Microsoft will NEVER e-mail you software updates as e-mail attachments. Malicious hackers have been known to send spoof e-mail messages that appear to come from Microsoft, urging you to download the accompanying attachment to prevent infection by a virus or worm. These attachments are actually worms or viruses themselves. If you are not currently set up to automatically receive software updates from Microsoft, ALWAYS be sure to go to Microsoft web pages to download Microsoft-related patches and service packs rather than doing so via links e-mailed to you.

Of course, it is also vitally important to use and regularly update your computer's anti-virus software. Always scan file attachments of all incoming e-mail messages, even messages from people you trust. Many viruses and worms are spread over networks, through attachments, and by sharing storage media such as diskettes, Zip disks, and CDs. You have the ultimate responsibility for protecting your computer against these threats.

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Ask The Help Desk - What is an RSS Feed?

Question: I've heard about people getting Web content via RSS feeds? What is an RSS feed?

Answer: RSS, which stands for "really simple syndication" or "RDF site summary," is an Internet-based information delivery system to which you can subscribe to have news and other information delivered to your computer, much like a newspaper delivered to your front doorstep.

RSS allows news website developers to distribute their news and information to customers who gather it in software known as "RSS readers." This information usually includes the news website's headlines and article summaries that you click on for more information.

If a website offers RSS subscriptions, it's usually indicated with some descriptive copy and an orange button labeled "XML" or a blue button labeled "RSS." Just click this button, then copy and paste the appropriate web address URL into your reader to visit the site and retrieve headlines and article summaries you have requested.

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Great Sites To Check Out This Month

Mission: Impossible: III Explodes Onto Screens -  Super-agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) returns this month for the third installment of the billion-dollar Mission: Impossible franchise. This time around, director J.J. Abrams (Lost, Alias) brings his unique blend of action and drama to the mix. Expect multiple international shoot locations, more stunts and action sequences, plus a storyline that includes a deeper look into the personal side of Ethan Hunt. If your mission is to find out more, head to this site to view video clips, get behind-the-scenes production notes, and meet the cast. You can even sign up to become an IMF agent and join the Mission: Impossible: III Scavenger Hunt. Rated PG13.

New Coaster Is Tops In Air-Time -  The world's top wooden coaster in air-time, the Voyage, opens this month at Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana. Take the plunge and you'll experience a feeling of weightlessness for a total of 24.2 seconds. This exhilarating ride also features three drops of over 100 feet, five underground tunnels, 90-degree banking, and a top speed of 67.4 miles an hour. This site allows you to get a feel for the ups and downs with a virtual ride on the Voyage. (You can even throw your arms up in the air and scream if you want.) Holiday World, which is celebrating their 60th anniversary this year, just completed a $13.5 million expansion including several new attractions and a new restaurant.

Prepare For The Pump -  Planning on hitting the road for a family vacation this summer? With gas prices rising, the cost of fuel may take a bigger bite out of your travel budget. Know what to expect before you leave home by taking a quick trip to this handy site. Simply enter your start city, destination, and the make, model, and year of your vehicle. The Fuel Cost Calculator instantly estimates your round-trip fuel cost based on the current average gas price in your region of the country.

Look Ma, No Hands! -  No kidding you can make a symbol appear on your computer screen without touching a single key. The National Institute of Environmental Sciences includes this mysterious game, called the Flash Mind Reader, on their site. Simply pick any two-digit number, add the two numbers together, and then subtract the total from your original two-digit number. Find the corresponding symbol on the chart provided and stare at it awhile. Like magic, this symbol will appear on the page's crystal ball. You have to see it to believe it.

Country Music Awards In Spotlight -  The 41st Academy of Country Music Awards takes place at the MGM Grand (Las Vegas) on May 23 and will be broadcast live on CBS Television at 8:00 ET/PT. If you're a country fan, this site will be music to your ears. Get awards show details, check out audio and photos from the spotlight artist, view backstage snapshots, and read the latest from Country Weekly magazine all while listening to songs from a country superstar. Sign up to be an associate member of the ACM for free and enjoy access to special publications and sweepstakes.

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Short Tutorial - How To Speed Up Slow E-Mail

Granted, e-mail is much faster than snail mail. But even e-mail software can slow down if you don't keep up with maintenance on your database. Have you noticed any of these symptoms?

If this sounds familiar, it may be time to do some maintenance on the database where your messages are stored. The best maintenance you can do is to delete old messages you no longer need and then "compact" your database. To do this, follow the steps below.

Cleaning Up and Compacting Outlook Express 6.0 When Using Windows XP Home Edition
  1. With Outlook Express open, click your cursor arrow on the "Tools" menu and select "Options."
  2. When the Options window appears, click the "Maintenance" tab.
  3. About half way down the window you will see the "Clean Up Now" button. Click on it and the "Local File Clean Up" window will appear.
  4. Click on the "Compact" button.
  5. Click "Close" and then "OK."
  6. Quit Outlook Express and then reopen Outlook Express.
Cleaning Up and Compacting Entourage 2004 When Using Macintosh OS X
  1. While opening Entourage, hold down the "Option" key on your keyboard.
  2. Select "Compact Database" by clicking on the radio button.
  3. Click "Continue."
If compacting your Entourage database does not improve its performance, repeat the process. However, this time select "Rebuild Database" from the choices.

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We hope you found this newsletter to be informative. It's our way of keeping you posted on the happenings here. If, however, you'd prefer not to receive these bulletins on a monthly basis, click HERE.

Thanks for your business!

Thank You,

The Staff at NCKCN


Partnered with Cunningham Cable

NCKCN - North Central Kansas Community Network
109 North Mill
Beloit, KS 67420


(We have used our best efforts in collecting and preparing the information published herein. However, we do not assume, and hereby disclaim, any and all liability for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions resulted from negligence, accident, or other causes.)

©2006 Cornerstone Publishing Group Inc.

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