eCurrents | July 2009


Link to Advanced Technology, Personal Touch





Inside This Issue

E-Mail Hoax
Beware Of Fake Microsoft Update E-mail

3 Rivers Summer Tour 2009!

Ask The Help Desk
What Are The Squiggly Codes I Often See When Logging Into A Secure Website?

Sites Of The Month
Great Sites To Check Out In July

Short Tutorial
Deleting Multiple E-mail Messages Using Column Headings



Welcome to eCurrents

We offer helpful information about many activities in this July issue, so no matter what's keeping you busy these days, you're covered. Are you worrying about Internet security? Don't miss the latest news about fake security alerts that pretend to be from Microsoft but are really from spammers. Are you struggling to keep up with an overflowing Inbox? Learn a fast and easy way to delete multiple e-mail messages simultaneously. Do your summer plans include baking a special cake, hiking and camping in a new place, improving the quality of your sleep, or helping out a worthy cause? If so, you'll find plenty of great ideas in Great Sites.

The goal of each of our monthly eNewsletters is to keep our subscribers informed regarding their Internet connection and to improve their Internet experience. We think you'll find this information interesting. If, however, you'd prefer not to receive these bulletins on a monthly basis, please see the links at the bottom of this e-mail to manage your preferences.

To see what's inside this issue, simply scroll down the eNewsletter or click on the links within the index to the left. Thanks for reading!

- The eCurrents Team


E-Mail Hoax - Beware Of Fake Microsoft Update E-mail

If you receive an e-mail that appears to come from Microsoft about an Update for Microsoft Outlook/Outlook Express (KB910721), do NOT click on the link or open the attachment. These e-mails, while quite convincing in their appearance and lack of the usual spammers' misspellings, are actually fake security alerts. They are designed to get you to download Trojan malware in the form of a file named officexp-KB910721-FullFile-ENU.exe.

Examples of the e-mail subject lines are:

  • Install Critical Update for Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Outlook Critical Update
  • Install Update for Microsoft Outlook

Take a look at one such e-mail:

Microsoft E-mail Hoax Example

This is a good opportunity to remind you that Microsoft never sends e-mails about a single security update. All Microsoft security updates are released together on the second Tuesday of each month and are posted at You can visit this site monthly to manually upload your choice of available updates. However, Microsoft recommends that you get the updates delivered automatically to your PC.

To learn how to turn on automatic updating for your particular operating system, go to:

You can also sign up to receive the Microsoft Security for Home Computer Users Newsletter at

In addition, don't forget to keep your antivirus software updated, and remain cautious about opening e-mail attachments (especially executable files ending in .exe).

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3 Rivers Summer Tour 2009!

3 Rivers Communications' marketing, sales and customer service crews are hitting the road again this summer, visiting with co-op members and participating in annual local events. We'll be setting up our booth at fairs, serving up food at our customer appreciation picnic and driving our purple pick up truck in parades.

Here's a list of where we'll be and when. Make sure you say hello!

  • July 11: Indian Days Browning
  • July 15-19: Gallatin Valley Fair Bozeman
  • July 16-18: Swim Days BBQ and Parade Fairfield
  • July 16-18: Marias Tri-County Fair Shelby
  • July 21-26: Lewis and Clark County Fair Helena
  • July 25: 3 Rivers Charity Golf Tournament Big Sky
  • July 25-Aug 2: Montana State Fair Great Falls
  • July 27: 3 Rivers Day at Montana State Fair Great Falls
  • August 1 Country Fair Parade Big Sky
  • August 8: 3 Rivers Customer Appreciation Picnic Dupuyer

Attention 3 Rivers' DIRECTV customers: Just a reminder that if you subscribe to DIRECTV through 3 Rivers, please call us directly with any customer service or technical questions at 1-800-796-4567.

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Ask The Help Desk - What Are The Squiggly Codes I Often See When Logging Into A Secure Website?

Question: When I'm logging into a secure website, I often see squiggly codes such as a distorted word or phrase that I have to copy. I heard these codes are supposed to stop spammers. How do they work?

Answer: You're talking about CAPTCHAs, which stands for Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart. These codes are alphanumeric and made of several distorted characters. Users are asked to copy the characters into an empty field—a task that's easy for a human but difficult for a computer.

This is an example of a CAPTCHA:


CAPTCHA example

CAPTCHAs are designed to "trip up" the automated software used by spammers. While this software is good at reading text, it has a hard time with distorted characters and will therefore be denied access to whatever website it was trying to exploit. Spammers' programs can sometimes crack a CAPTCHA, but it's a complicated process with a low success rate so most spammers are still blocked.

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Sites Of The Month - Great Sites To Check Out In July

Ace Of Cakes - Art and cuisine meet on the fun new Food Network show, Ace of Cakes. The show presents the creations of Chef Duff and his staff as they decorate up to 20 cakes per week, including whimsical designs and detailed replicas. The Ace of Cakes website features videos highlighting the show's sweet creations and cool cakes baked by viewers.

Sleep On It - The National Sleep Foundation website is packed with helpful information about sleep including articles, videos, and quizzes. You can learn about the correlation between exercise and sleep, food and sleep, how medical problems can affect sleep, and more. The site also lists international sleep care centers, and a variety of online communities to share your experiences with sleep and sleep disorders.

YouTube U - What do Dolly Parton and President Obama have in common? They both have recently delivered university commencement addresses. You can view them, as well as other addresses and interesting lectures at the YouTube EDU site. You'll find videos on medical, scientific, political, musical, business, and other topics from YouTube's college and university partners.

The Great Outdoors - If you love to enjoy the great outdoors, you'll love this site. Find the best places to go worldwide and discover what to do once you get there. Featured activities include hiking, camping, biking, fishing, paddling, and climbing. Get advice on gear, clothing, and electronics, and tips on things like what to pack for a backpacking trip, how to find a good trail, international travel, and family trips.

Reader To Reader - Reader to Reader is a nonprofit organization dedicated to "bringing books, free of charge, to needy school libraries and public libraries across the United States." You're invited to donate books or money via their website to help make it happen. When you visit the site, you can also read about the organization's programs and success, and check out their blog to learn about recent activities.

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Short Tutorial - Deleting Multiple E-mail Messages Using Column Headings

It can be a daunting task to keep up with managing your e-mail, so here's a way to save some time when you're ready to clean out your message folders. By using column headings, you can quickly delete all messages from a specified sender simultaneously—much easier than hunting down that person's messages scattered throughout your Inbox. Simply follow the steps below to delete multiple messages from a particular sender:

Deleting Multiple E-mail Messages Using ...
- E-mail Program: Outlook Express 6
- Operating System: Windows XP

  • 1. With Outlook Express open, click on the column heading that will most help you delete the group of unwanted messages. For example, if you want to get rid of all messages from a particular person, click on the "From" button to sort the messages into groups sorted by names.