Frequently Asked Questions
If you're having problems with something, please take a look through this list first - you might find the answer here.
If not, then do please contact us for help.
This list is a work in progress, so please let us know if there's something you think should be added.
Turn it off and on again.
Before we get to the FAQ list, just a quick tip:
It might sound like a cliche, but "turn it off and on again" really does work for many problems, so it's always worth a go, whether it's a PC, a printer or a router.
The only warning we'd give is if you have a server; in that case, be certain that you're not going to disrupt other users if you turn that off and on again. As ever, if in doubt, ask us!
Click here for instructions on how to access your emails via WebMail.
Firstly, does this apply to all emails, or just certain ones?
If it's all emails, then it may be a problem with your settings, or with your provider's server. You should check your settings - we can help with that.
If it's only some emails, then check the details in the "bounce" message you get back. Although these can be a bit cryptic, they usually give a clue to the problem; often it's as simple as an incorrectly typed address, or it could be that the recipient's mailbox is full (often referred to as "over quota"). If the bounce message makes no sense to you, we can help decipher it if you email it to us.
Whether you use Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express or any other email program, there are certain tips you can follow to ensure it runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
The most important of these is to keep your total mailbox size as small as possible, and to file emails into separate folders. In particular, don't let large numbers of emails build up in your Inbox, Sent Items or Deleted Items folders.
In Outlook, particularly versions earlier than 2003, there is a 2 GB limit on the size of the file used to store your mailbox, so it's particularly important that you regularly archive your older emails if you want to keep them. You can automate this process by choosing Tools > Options > Other > AutoArchive.
Firstly, do you have a router or just a USB modem connecting you to the internet?
If it's a USB modem, turn off your computer completely (don't just restart), leave it off for a minute or two, and then turn it back on.
If you connect via a router (either wirelessly or with a network cable), turn off the router for a minute or two, (you may just need to unplug it if it has no on/off switch) and then turn it back on again.
If turning off and on again doesn't work, try again, but this time leave it off for 20 minutes or so before turning it back on again; this can sometimes work.
If you still can't connect, check (if possible) whether other computers on the same network can connect, to decide if the problem is with the internet connection or just your computer.
If the problem is with your connection, you'll need to contact your service provider (that might be us!).
Before you contact your service provider, check the following:
- If you have broadband through a phone line, does the line itself work for normal calls?
- Is the modem or router "in sync?" This is denoted by a light on the router; on Netgear routers it's usually an "i" with a circle around the base. On other models it may be a light marked "DSL"
- Have you tried disconnecting other equipment on the same phone line?
- Have you tried (if possible) connecting the modem or router to the master phone socket?
- Try clearing your browser's cache.
- In Internet Explorer, Select Tools > Internet Options > General > Delete Files, tick "Delete all offline content" and click OK.
- Protect your passwords and financial details
- Avoid using programs or software that remembers your passwords for you, particularly if using a shared or public computer.
- Avoid storing your credit card details on online shopping sites.
- Choose passwords that are difficult to crack, by using a combination of letters, numbers and other characters. There's a great password strength checker at www.passwordmeter.com.
- When using a public computer (internet cafes, hotel/airport kiosks, libraries etc.), clear your browser's cache after you've finished.
- Use good anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
- If you connect to the internet with a computer which doesn't have up-to-date anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall software, you WILL get infected within a very short space of time. We recommend F-Secure software for this.
- Be very wary of any security software advertised on the internet, particularly those which tell you that your computer is infected and offer a way to clean it. These are almost always malicious, and at best they simply use scare tactics to pressure you into a purchase. In many cases such software roots itself deep into your system and is VERY difficult to remove; notable current examples include "Anti-Virus 2009" and other similarly-named variants.
- Always be cautious.
- Never accept files or attachments when accessing websites, newsgroups and chat rooms unless you are very sure of their authenticity.
- Only accept or download software from a source that you believe to be trusted.
- Don't click on links in emails to banks, eBay, Paypal or other sites; these are almost always fraudulent.
If your F-Secure software is out of date (also referred to as "virus definitions are old"), it could be that the update mechanism needs resetting. Simply download and run the "Automatic Updates Reset Tool" from our F-Secure downloads page.
Note that if your F-Secure says "subscription expired", this simply means that your licence has run out, and you should contact us as soon as possible to purchase a renewal and ensure you remain protected.
This usually happens when the document you've been sent has been created with a program you don't have, or with a newer version of one that you do have. Currently, the most common reason we see for this is with Microsoft Word or Excel files created with the new 2007 version of Office, which uses a different file format to earlier versions.
You can download a free converter to work with these files from our Microsoft downloads page.