Putting Music in Your Email
Al Roller called to say he sometimes receives an email containing music that starts playing immediately upon being opened, and asked how this is done. Well, after creating a new message in Outlook Express you can click on Format>Background>Music and browse to the song you want to include in your outgoing letter. (This is also where you will find options for choosing a background image or solid color for your outgoing email.)
An Outlook Express question from Janie Martin asks how to see a "receipt" saying an email she sent was opened by the recipient. This is done by clicking Tools>Request Read Receipt. AOL users have this feature in the Request Return Receipt option below all outgoing messages.
Dealing with Email Spam
Bob Essman says his Outlook Express account receives a lot of spam and asks how to create a "Safe List" of people from whom he will accept mail, and which will remove incoming mail from others. This is done by clicking Tools>Message Rules>Mail and choosing from the various options.
However, Bob's question brings up a number of issues worth considering. Many email services, such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, and AIM use very effective spam-filtering tools nowadays. Mail suspected of being unwanted advertising is sent to a Spam or Junk folder, where a recipient can quickly look it over and delete it.
No spam filter is perfect, however, and all will occasionally allow ads into your Inbox and send legitimate mail to the Spam folder.
Outlook Express has no built-in Spam folder. However, ISPs such as Cox and TimeWarner try to delete the really obvious spam before it reaches their clients.
My guess is that Bob gets a lot of spam because his email address is listed on his Prudential California Realty web site: www.BobEssman.com.
Spammers use robotic programs that endlessly crawl the Internet looking for such addresses. There are various ways of "disguising" your address to avoid the robots, but the methods aren't all that reliable and often discourage legitimate users from sending you email.
On my site I handle this issue by showing a Gmail address (ComputerTutorDon@gmail.com) which filters out the spam and forwards the desirable mail to my Outlook Express account. I then periodically check the Gmail spam folder for possible filtering errors.
Another source of spam can be a company whose web link you click on to ask for information about their services. Many are set up for the sole purpose of collecting email addresses for subsequent spamming. This is why I use a "throw-away" email address for such inquiries. Reputable businesses, such as Amazon, offer an opt-out option for subsequent ad mailings. However, if you respond to a spammer's "opt-out option" he just puts you on more junk lists.