Ask Rick 008, 12/12/08
We have a new laptop fitted with wireless and would like to
use it in our hotel reception in Madeira to pick up e-mails. However I have
read that this is dangerous and if you use Internet Hotspots someone nearby
could pick up your personal details. I have spoken to people at Norton and
Kaspersky, neither of which can help; can you give us any advice?
David Philpot, by email
Provided you have
password protected your user account, your anti-virus software is up to date
and you have a firewall installed on your computer then your data
should be safe from all but the most determined and
well-resourced wireless hackers, who would need to be staying at the same
hotel, or lurking within 25 metres or so of you when you are using your PC.
Nevertheless, remain vigilant and make sure that you are actually logging onto
a legitimate hotspot. There is a new scam, called ‘Evil Twin’ hotspots that
look like the real thing but once connected to the bogus network your passwords
and PINs etc. could be intercepted.
It’s not like the
movies, though, and hacking into a protected Vista PC requires considerable
time and effort but you have to ask yourself if it is sensible to keep
important personal data on your laptop? If it is unavoidable then it should be
encrypted. If your version of Vista lacks this facility then a freeware utility
like EncryptOnClick does an excellent job http://tinyurl.com/2fqoyk. This is not so much to protect your data
from ambitious wireless hackers but from the much greater threat to laptops of
theft or loss.
Pictures in Documents
I followed your instructions on how to use the Snipping tool
in Vista and it works a treat. However, I would like to use it to illustrate
letters with pictures and therefore would like to be able to place the snipped
picture where I want it on the page. So far I have only managed to reproduce it
at the top of the sheet.
Jill Marshment. By email
You didn’t mention which program you are using but I am
going to assume that it is Word, in which case the trick is to switch to the
Print Layout view, place the cursor where you want the image to appear. Next,
go to Insert > Picture (or Clip Art). Locate your image file and click OK.
Resize as necessary and on the Picture toolbar that should have appeared, click
on the Text Wrapping icon (the one with the silhouette of a dog). Select the
last item, Edit Wrap Points; you can then click on the image and drag it to any
point on the page and it will stay put
Right Click Change
Is it possible to
add a command to the right-click on the mouse?
I should like to add 'Change Case' from the Word Format menu as I use
There are ways and means using paid-for utilities but I
think it is just as easy to use the change case keyboard shortcut (Shift + F3),
or assign the function to a toolbar button. To do that right-click on an empty
part of the Toolbar and select Customize then the Commands tab. In the
Categories pane select Format and in the Command pane scroll down to Change
Case then click and drag the item onto the toolbar. If you want to change its
appearance right click on it, select Default Style, right-click again, select
Change button image then Change button image and choose an icon. Finish off by
exiting the Customize window. If you later want to remove it open the Customize
dialogue box and you’ll be able to click on the icon and drag it off the
I use Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 edition running
under Windows Vista Home Basic. Each time I open Word, Excel or PowerPoint I
get a small message window entitled ‘BCM Office Add-in’, which says ‘Office
Application does not match’. There is no indication of what does not match
what! There is no Help option either.
It disappears when I click OK but is very annoying and did not happen
Alan Draper, by email
It’s a known glitch with Outlook 2007’s Business Contact
Manager add-on and it happens if you have more than one version of Office
installed, upgrade from a trial version to a full version of Office or install
There’s a full explanation and a patch in MS Knowledgebase
article 935569 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/935569/en-us)
but this is only for the US English version of Office. I’m guessing that you
don’t want or need BCM so just remove by going to Start > Control Panel >
Programs and Features.
I recently noticed the taskbar digital clock is losing time
when my PC is closed down. Is there likely to be a battery somewhere in the
computer that needs replacing?
Arthur Papworth, by email
Most PCs have a small battery-powered digital clock on the
motherboard, called the Real Time Clock
(RTC) or hardware clock and this maintains the correct time when the PC
is switched off. Clock backup batteries
typically last between 3 and 5 years and when they expire timekeeping
can become erratic, though you may not notice it if you have a broadband
connection as Windows automatically synchronises the clock with an Internet
timeserver. The batteries are quite cheap (£2.00-£3.00) and they are usually
fairly easy to replace though if you are concerned about opening up your
computer ask an expert.
© R. Maybury 2008 2411