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  1. #1
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    Thumbnails and hidden files (V2002 Pro)

    I've set Windows Explorer to show all Extensions, including 'known' file types. When I (occasionally) select Thumbnail view in Explorer I see an extra hidden file generated (Thumbs.db). When I switch back to detailed view (my usually preferred view) the thumbs.db file remains. I'd rather not see this file! Is there a way to hide just this specific file type? I'd rather not see a thumbnail of this file when I switch to thumbnail view and I'd be quite happy if it automatically deleted itself when I switched back to details view. Also what happens if I end up accidentally copying this file into another folder with a thumb.db file?

    I know next to nothing about thumbnails. Can someone please advise?

    Chris (Hunt)

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    Silver Lounger Bruce K's Avatar
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    Re: Thumbnails and hidden files (V2002 Pro)

    Thumbs.db is a database that manages your viewing of images when using the Thumbnail View. If you are using Detail View and wish not to see the Thumbs.db file, deleting it is harmless. Windows will, however, create a new one if you choose to use Thumbnail View again. If you do not wish to see it at all, your option is to select 'Do not show hidden files and folders' in the View tab of Folder options.

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    Re: Thumbnails and hidden files (V2002 Pro)

    Thanks Bruce, if I select 'Do not show hidden files and folders' will that compromise my chances of noticing possible viruses? I think the 'Mother of Windows' books recommended keeping that check box deselected? I don't suppose there's a way of hiding specific file types and keeping others visible? Is it an all or nothing setting? In general I like to see everything that's on my computer and avoid having task running in the background unless set going by me (I'm definitely leary of automatic updates). - but I'll make an exception in the case of .DB files!

    Chris

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    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Thumbnails and hidden files (V2002 Pro)

    <hr>.....if I select 'Do not show hidden files and folders' will that compromise my chances of noticing possible viruses?<hr>
    I would suggest that if you can spot a virus file, it is too late. As ever, prevention is better than cure.

  5. #5
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    Re: Thumbnails and hidden files (V2002 Pro)

    Yes, but isn't seeing better than believing? I use AVG from Grisoft though I wonder about it's ability to block emails containing viruses. I make it a habit to have the preview pane in Outlook Express turned off before downloading email. I occasionally get the odd very suspicious email that I bin without opening. Being able to see file extensions on all attachments is useful. If I check hide known file types will that hide extensions that could harbour viruses? Incidentally is it safe to check out a suspicious email by selecting Properties - details - message source? If it contains a virus could it be triggered? I don't know much about this and I'd like to learn.

    All the best,

    Chris

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    Silver Lounger Bruce K's Avatar
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    Re: Thumbnails and hidden files (V2002 Pro)

    <hr> I use AVG from Grisoft though I wonder about it's ability to block emails containing viruses. <hr>
    I assume you mean to 'catch & contain' a virus in an e-mail rather than 'block'. As long as you are keeping your software updated, then you should have nothing to wonder about. The current AVG VID is 214 updated 8-2-2002

    You should have the Preview pane in Outlook Express disabled as this is one of the vulnerabilities the virus is designed to exploit.

    I did not recommend checking 'hide extensions for known file types' but recommended 'Do not show hidden files and folders' which is two lines up (See screen shot below please). If you notice, 'Thumbs.db' appears as a halftone which indicates a usually hidden folder. When you check 'Do not show hidden files and folders' , these will not appear.

    Checking the message source often has nothing to do with whether the message is infected or not. Typical of the Klez-family virii is its ability to 'spoof'. Spoofing is when the virus randomly selects an address from an infected user's address book and inserts it into the 'From' field, preying on one's false sense of security of receiving messages from a trusted source.

    In AVG, go to your control panel, click on the E-mail scanner tab, make sure everything is checked including the Outlook Express plug-in. Then click on the 'Advanced Settings' button below that. On the 'Incoming mail' and 'Outgoing mail' tabs, make sure that only the first two items are checked. On the 'Notification' tab, make sure the "Display Warning Window' is checked. Finally and most important, in your AVG control panel, click on the 'Update Manager' tab and press the 'Update now' button. It cannot be stressed enough to keep your virus database up-to-date.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Thumbnails and hidden files (V2002 Pro)

    Thanks for the information. Yes. 'catch and contain' is much more accurate than my term 'block'. So just to confirm, checking 'Do not show hidden files and folders' will not interfere with being able to see *all* file extensions, especially on incoming emails?

    Regarding AVG, I check for updates manually about every two weeks. I do not have the Outlook Express plug-in checked. I tried it and with it checked the tool-bar in Outlook Express behaved strangely, for example, duplicating extra buttons. I wrote to Grisoft and got a message confirming Outlook Express 6 isn't supported (5.5 is the latest).

    It is because of spoofing that I often check the message source of unexpected and out of context emails. I'm not so interested in the information about where the message claims to originate but by scrolling down it's possible to see the text contained in the message. If this looks like chopped liver I bin the email. If there is text I can actually read (and is sensible) then I usually open it. This is just my own clumsy way of checking suspicious emails. What I wondered was if by doing so I could trigger a virus in any case. Recently I came across a thread about mailwasher and I intend to give that a go. Checking email while still on the server is presumably much safer.

    Is it absolutely essential to have the preview pane disabled? I have email in the secure zone for Internet Explorer and I disabled references to scripting (if I remember the advice originally appeared in one of Woody's Windows Watches). Using the preview pane is my preferred way to read email - I find double-clicking to open up email messages strangely irritating -(life is too short!), but perhaps I should learn?

    Thanks again,

    Chris

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    Silver Lounger Bruce K's Avatar
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    Re: Thumbnails and hidden files (V2002 Pro)

    <hr>...checking 'Do not show hidden files and folders' will not interfere with being able to see *all* file extensions...<hr>
    Right. <IMG SRC=http://www.krymow.com/images/######eatinggrin.gif>
    <hr>Regarding AVG, I check for updates manually about every two weeks.<hr>
    "About"? I recommend at least once a week.

    Text you can read or that is sensible has nothing to do with an attachment carrying a malicious load. AVG will prevent access to an attachment you attempt to execute if it is flagged as suspicious. If you are unsure about an attachment, save it to another location, right-click and select 'Scan with AVG' or run a custom scan from the AVG interface. Have you checked the appropriate boxes for e-mail scanning incoming as well as outgoing per the above post?
    <hr>Is it absolutely essential to have the preview pane disabled? I have email in the secure zone for Internet Explorer and I disabled references to scripting...<hr>
    The Preview pane has nothing to do with the scripting. The preview pane essentially opens your attachments. The scripting reference is for malicious code embedded in the e-mail body which is less likely to be encountered compared to the type proliferating via attachments.
    <hr>Using the preview pane is my preferred way to read email - I find double-clicking to open up email messages strangely irritating -(life is too short!)<hr>
    You will find it substantially more irritating finding different comb-over techniques after yanking out handfuls of your hair upon realization you've been unwittingly infected with one of a myriad of virii. <IMG SRC=http://www.krymow.com/images/hairtear.gif>Life is too short to waste on repairing the damage done and recovering data lost as a result. An ounce or prevention certainly is worth a pound of cure, especially in a case such as this, I assure you.<IMG SRC=http://www.krymow.com/images/bandaid.gif> <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> <IMG SRC=http://www.krymow.com/images/bandaid.gif>

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    Re: Thumbnails and hidden files (V2002 Pro)

    Thanks for pushing me! I have the boxes scanning incoming mail and checking outgoing mail checked. I haven't checked the certify incoming and certify outgoing email boxes.Is there any security reason for doing so? My basic rule of thumb for attachments is if I'm not expecting it I bin the email. I don't appreciate people sending me attachments unless they've told me in advance. This is what I tell my family and friends. I save attachments and scan them with AVG before opening them. This also goes with anything I happen to download from the internet as well.

    Now I'm a little confused about the reason for disabling the preview pane. If there's essentially no difference between opening an email and previewing an email then surely it's simply a matter of viewing preference? I prefer to browse emails by previewing them rather than double-clicking and opening them. I download emails with the preview pane 'off', weed out suspicious looking emails if there are any and then switch the preview pane back on. I use a toggle switch on the taskbar for this purpose. I guess it's possible that I could miss a suspicious email and preview it by mistake but I think it's more likely that I would open one by mistake if I had the preview pane disabled. I might be moe careless without the preview pane.
    Can you please elaborate on why the preview pane should be disabled?

    Also while we are discussing AVG - will it detect and remove trojans or do I need another program for that? I use Keiro Personal Firewall but I wonder what would happen if a trojan got past it. I agree that it's almost impossible to be too careful about computer security. I don't want to lose any hair - especially by tearing it out so any more advice will be humbly received.

    Thanks,

    Chris

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    Silver Lounger Bruce K's Avatar
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    Re: Thumbnails and hidden files (V2002 Pro)

    The certification is really nothing more than a indication to you or your recipient that some effort was made to protect against a virus and that an action was taken by your software. I wouldn't worry about that.

    The Preview pane....the difference is one way YOU have control over what and when something is opened; the other is automatic. Please read this notice and then skim over any one of these if you need further convincing.

    <IMG SRC=http://www.krymow.com/images/trojanhorse.gif> Trojan horses.......do not execute anything sent to you via unsolicited electronic mail. You may be tricked or frightened into opening or downloading, for example, a free upgrade to the Micro$oft Internet Explorer web browser. Although they do distribute security bulletins by electronic mail, Micro$oft does not provide patches or upgrades via electronic mail. For a more comprehensive understanding of trojans, how they are installed & work and how to protect against these type of intrusions, please read this <A target="_blank" HREF="http://www.cert.org/advisories/CA-1999-02.html">CERT

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    Re: Thumbnails and hidden files (V2002 Pro)

    Thanks Bruce, that's a wealth of information and hopefully will keep my hair healthy and where it should be...

    However, I'm still not convinced about the preview pane! From my understanding of what I've read if I select view in the Toolbar and untick Show Preview Pane it is disabled? If so then customising the toolbar to show the Preview Toggle switch does the same thing, doesn't it? I.e I Press the Preview Toggle switch and the Preview Pane is gone. I press the toggle switch a second time and it is back. If this is the case then I have the Preview Pane disabled when I download messages and I have it enabled when I read messages. The one danger of this approach is remembering that Newsgroup folders and email folders are treated separately. Toggling the preview pane off in a newsgroup folder does not cause it to go off in the email folders. For this reason I make it a habit to move to an email folder that doesn't contain recently downloaded messages and make sure the preview pane isn't showing before downloading. I realise that if the preview pane is showing and I move to the inbox and an infected email is top of the list that I could trigger it Basically in my mind I consider Previewing to be the same as Opening an email. It's just that I prefer to open it within a window (ie the pane) where I can still see other messages rather than have a new window appear blocking out half the screen - I don't like windows sitting on top of windows.

    Now if it were the case that an infected email could do it's evil work merely by being present in a folder when I am previewing some other message then I would definitely reconsider (I'd definitely be examining alternatives to Outlook Express very seriously) but from what I've read this is not the case?

    Reading the material on Trojan Horses has definitely left me feeling paranoid, especially given that more than some of it is over my head. I really wonder now about downloading anything! Can anyone recommend any software that is aimed specifically at Trojans as opposed to Viruses? I remember being told somewhen that to be more secure it was advisable to have a dedicated virus checker, a firewall and a dedicated trojan checker. Reaching into my memory has anyone heard of or had success with something called the cleaner from Moosoft?

    Chris

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    Re: Thumbnails and hidden files (V2002 Pro)

    Chris, after all of this discussion about how often to manually update your AVG anti-virus definitions, problems with using the POP3 e-mail trap and questions about whether it detects trojans, I think it's time to look at the law of diminishing returns. I assume you use AVG because it's free?

    For $30USD/yr. you can get yourself a real anti-virus program that automatically updates itself as soon as something is available, runs perfectly well as a POP3 trap and will catch trojans as well as block malicious Java and ActiveX scripts - and some peace of mind. My preference is Trend Micro's PC-Cillin - it's smaller, less resource-hungry, less intrusive and far more stable than either of the Big Two (Norton and McAfee). Other Loungers may have their favorites, and doing a search on this forum and the other Windows boards for "anti-virus" will bring up a plethora of posts on the subject.

    Peace of mind, IMHO, is worth more than <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15>.

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    Re: Thumbnails and hidden files (V2002 Pro)

    Hello Keely, actually I bought the professional version of AVG (though I can't tell the difference from the free one). Originally I was using McAfee since a school that I work for was using it. But I didn't like the 'spaceship' interface (it reminds me of Microsoft media Player in one of its skins) and after lurking on some newsgroups I downloaded AVG just in time for it to save me from a website infected by Nimda. Since then I stuck with it, though I'm suspicious of it's ability to deal with emails. Perhaps wrongly I assume that it should detect and block infected emails at the server but it's allowed me to download several emails with attachments that I'm sure contained viruses. I binned them without opening them so I don't know how AVG would have dealt with them if I had opened them.

    I do download shareware and freeware as I believe it's sensible and reasonable to evaluate software before buying it. However, I'm against getting something for nothing - I happen to believe that many problems in the World would be solved if we all learnt to live without this mentality - not that I find doing so easy - but over the years I am getting better at it!

    All the best,

    Chris

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    Re: Thumbnails and hidden files (V2002 Pro)

    Fair enough. I thought the free version requires you to manually update. IMHO, if you paid for it, it better have the capability to automatically update. PC-Cillin downloads updates sometimes as frequently as every two days, although this summer has been ominously quiet for new viruses so it's only been once every 4-5 days. The updating process is quick, non-intrusive and doesn't require a reboot. The though that you could be infected with the latest and greatest just because you manually updated one day and the definition arrived the day after - oooh, that's bad.

    I agree with your comments generally on shareware and freeware. I'm just surprised that anyone (not you, obviously) would be unwilling to spend the equivalent of 6 trips to Starbucks a year to protect their system. There are some great shareware and freeware bargains out there, but in the case of anti-virus, you get what you pay for. <img src=/S/broke.gif border=0 alt=broke width=31 height=23>

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    Re: Thumbnails and hidden files (V2002 Pro)

    I never used to bother with anti-virus software. Not that I was ketchy but I figured I was careful and getting anti-virus software might give me a false sense of security and lead me to be lackadaisical. But then suddenly one year (I forget whether it was 1998 0r 1999) I saw a massive jump in the number of suspicious emails and I realised I was being carelessly stubborn. Now I realise that protecting one's computer is not only necessary but failing to do so is being anti-social. If I don't do my best to stop my computer from being a menace to others I'm like a parent refusing to take responsibility for my children.

    As for AVG I know it can be set to update periodically - every so many days but I don't think it automatically detects when there's a new update available and downloads it. Personally, I don't like my computer doing anything automatically. I'm not sure if it's distrust, pride, a mixture of both or something else (ethics perhaps?) but I turn off 'automatic' functions. I defrag, check discs, make back-ups, perform updates etc manually.

    Chris

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