Q. I'm sure you've covered this before, but can you explain how to enable the firewall feature of Windows XP?
A. Windows XP provides a measure of Internet security in the form of a firewall.
Its formal name is the Internet Connection Firewall or ICF. This feature monitors data flowing into and out of your computer and provides protection from unauthorized access to computers directly connected to the Internet, whether by dial-up connection or LAN (Local Area Network), such as cable or DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) connection.
To enable ICF using Windows' Network Setup Wizard, go to your Control Panel, double-click Network and Internet Connections, then click Setup. The firewall is enabled when you choose the appropriate connection in the wizard that indicates that your computer is connected directly to the Internet.
To configure the firewall manually, follow these steps:
1. Log into XP with an owner/administrator account.
2. Click Start > Control Panel, and double-click the Network Connections icon.
3. Click to select the connection you want to protect. For example, if you're using Earthlink as your ISP, select the Earthlink icon. In the left window, under Network Tasks, click "change settings of this connection," followed by the Properties button.
4. Click the Advanced tab and place a check mark in the box under "Internet Connection Firewall," followed by OK. If you leave it unchecked, the firewall is disabled.
To view a visual walk-through of the above process, visit Microsoft’s “Using Windows Firewall” article at http://tinyurl.com/hyenk.
Q. I'm using Outlook Express 6. The area on the left side of the screen has vanished. It used to show a list of folders, like the Sent message folder and some folders that I had created myself. Could I have accidentally deleted all of them? Help!
A. No, it's highly unlikely that you deleted the folders. Instead, the folder list feature was probably accidentally turned off. You can quickly turn it back on by clicking View > Layout. Place a check mark in front of "Folder List," followed by OK. Presto! The folders list will return to the left side of your screen, just as you remember it.
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