PC Doctor December 22, 2010

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Dear PC Doctor:

              I have a friend who had his Hotmail email account hacked into a couple of months ago. His contacts, me included, keep getting emails from him that aren't really from him. Most are links to websites but the latest was the scam itself, no link. He paid a tech to solve the problem but it didn't work. Is there any way of fixing this without eliminating the account? Thanks for any advice.      


Dear Audrey,

              That's terrible! Trying to regain access to your private account can be so frustrating, especially when you know it's being abused! Let me give you a few tips to keeping safe on the internet.  Don't use the same password for all your sign-in accounts. If one gets compromised, the rest could be too! Try not to use simple dictionary words for your password either; add a few random numbers in the middle of your password. When signing in, be sure to check the URL address of the web site you're visiting. When signing into your hotmail account the address should start with “https” instead of simply “http”. That extra “s” lets you know that the website is secure, and isn't part of a phishing scam that's meant to steal your password.

First, if I was your friend, I'd try to log into the account with the old password. It sounds like this has already been tried, but if it hasn't been changed by the spammer, you can simply log in, change the password, and the bad guys would be locked out. However, since I think you've already tried that, you can also try resetting your password. If you previously supplied an alternative email address, Hotmail will send you the link to reset your password.

If none of those options work, you can officially submit the issue to Windows Live Help. Visit this shortened web address to access the Account Password Recovery: goo.gl/nQo5  From there, click on "Continue" and follow the detailed process to regain access to your email.

Hope your friend gets this issue resolved successfully!         

              PC Doctor

Dear PC Doctor:

              I'm not writing about computer trouble, but I think you might be able to help me out. I was given an audiobook on CD to listen to, but when I tried to play it in my car stereo, it says “ROM” and doesn't play. On the CD box, it says that it's an MP3 audiobook. Why doesn't the CD player in my car play the CD?             


Dear Andrea:

              I believe I can help you out, but it still won't solve your problem. It sounds like your car's stereo can't play MP3 CD's. MP3 CD's are different than ordinary CD's that you are used to playing in your car. MP3's are a type of digital sound files that most people use to play on their personal MP3 players. (An example of a MP3 player is an iPod.) Since they're much more compressed (space-saving) they can contain more data than an ordinary CD. Instead of only having 74 minutes of play on one CD, MP3 CD's can hold up to 16 hours of audio. Now, a whole audiobook can fit on one MP3 CD instead of many ordinary CD's. Sadly, many older car stereos don't have the capability of playing MP3 CD's. That is what your stereo is trying to tell you when it shows “ROM” instead of playing.

Besides containing much more on one disc, MP3 CD's are extremely handy when you want to rip the contents onto your computer. Instead of needing extra software to extract the tracks from an ordinary CD, you can simply drag and drop the MP3 files off the disc and onto your computer. Insert the MP3 CD into the drive of your computer, and go to “My Computer”. Once there, double-click on the icon for the MP3 CD. The contents of the disc will appear and you can copy them to somewhere safe on your computer. The files are already in the right format to transfer over to a MP3 player. If you have an MP3 player you'll be able to listen to your audiobooks on the go!    

              PC Doctor

Until next time… happy computing!