This week I think I will once again take the time to answer a few readers’ questions:

I have tried to download the FREE things your article specified as they sounded good.
Not free - they want $19.99 for the pop up blocker alone????
Have removed all from computer now, but thought you aught to know, as what you stated was wrong
John, via e-mail

I thought I’d publish this letter exactly as it was received in order to illustrate some of the tactful, well constructed and grammatically correct e-mails that I receive from time to time. Sarcasm aside, I’m assuming this reader is talking about the free Firefox browser I recommended a few weeks back as a viable alternative to Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Contrary to what John states above this browser is indeed completely free of charge and available from so I would suggest that he has a piece of spyware or adware on his computer which is popping up advertising adverts randomly on his computer. When he visited the Firefox site to download the browser this adware exposed him to a pop-up advert which was advertising pop-up stopping software; quite ironic.

I remember around a year ago a customer of my website complained to me saying that I was exposing them to hardcore pornographic pop-up adverts whilst they were shopping for cartridges is of course something that I wouldn’t consider doing. It did turn out that they had some rogue software running on their computer in the background exposing them to these images randomly and as you would expect, nothing to do with me.

For those who haven’t already done so (including John), download either Microsoft Anti-Spyware ( or SpyBot Search and Destroy (, run it through your computer to remove these rogue programs and then stop asking me the same question over and over again!

I enjoy your helpful articles in the Herald Express and wonder if you can help me with a problem.
I have a friend in London and we both have recently been the victims of hate mail via email to our Hotmail accounts. I have been in touch with the police and have a crime number as well as also trying to contact Hotmail and Microsoft to report the abuse but am ignored. Is there any other way of getting Microsoft to take this problem seriously and close down these accounts?
Wendy, via e-mail.

This is a difficult one to deal with as although one of the greatest things about the Internet is that it is anonymous, this is also the cause of many problems. It would be virtually impossible for the police to track down a physical address for the people sending these e-mails and so unfortunately there is not much that they are able to do. I am quite surprised that Microsoft haven’t taken your problem more seriously however shutting down the offending accounts probably wouldn’t achieve much as they could simply set up another free account and increase their efforts from this new address.

You would probably be better off focusing your efforts on protecting your existing account from these intrusive e-mails than trying to stop the senders themselves and there are several things that can be done to achieve this goal.

The most effective way would be to just change your e-mail address entirely and then to e-mail your friends to notify them of the change – The mail you are receiving is probably indiscriminate and so it is unlikely that the sender would try discovering your new address.

Alternatively if you don’t wish to change your address then there is a junk mail filter in Hotmail that should really be activated as a matter of habit along with more importantly blocking the senders address from your Hotmail account. By doing the latter you will ensure that any messages from the offending address will be instantly deleted and not transferred to your inbox.

I wish you the best of luck dealing with this, Wendy. Do just remember that as I mentioned above this is almost certainly indiscriminate so don’t take it personally but instead just feel sorry for the offender as he clearly has no social life to speak of and instead just a little too much time on his hands.

Sponsered by Refresh Cartridges

Back to Main Page