Email – Show File Extensions For Safety

Set Windows to show file extensions to make it easier to determine attachment safety. By default Windows is set to hide file extensions and hackers have used this to hide the real extension of an attachment to look legitimate, as most users do not change the defaults.

As an example goodattachment.txt.exe would show as goodattachment.txt, unless Windows is set to show file extensions and, if opened would run the executable file with probable bad results.

Showing file extensions is a simple process:

  • Left click Start.
  • Left click Control Panel.
  • Double click Folder Options.
  • Select the View tab.
  • Un-check the “Hide extensions for known file types.” box.
  • Click OK.
  • Close Control Panel.

Sowing file extensions is one of the first things I do when someone asks me to help them with a computer problem and I explain why they should keep this setting. Not only is this a good precaution for email, it helps me understand what the different files are in the folders on the computer that is having problems, as most leave the file extensions hidden and I can not then determine whether a particular file is a data file, an executable, a zip, etc.

Do yourself and your computer repair/consultant personnel a favor and set Windows to show file extensions.

If you know of any other reasons to show file extensions, please leave me a comment.

XP – Full Screen Mode

Sometimes maximized windows just do not contain enough room when viewing Windows Explorer windows, this is where the full screen mode comes in handy.

Just press the F11 key and the window will instantly expand to cover all the viewable space on your monitor.

When you have finished using full screen mode, just press the F11 key once again, to return the window to the previous size.

This should also work in Internet Explorer and Firefox recent versions.

XP – Single Click File Open

Some people have asked me if there is a way to use only a single click with Windows Explorer, to open a file, like clicking on a link in a web browser.

The answer is yes, if you use Windows ME or XP.

To set it up:

  • Access your Control Panel.
  • Open the Folders Options applet.
  • Under the General tab, select Single-click to open an item (point to select).
  • Also select Underline icon titles consistent with my browser, to have all icons underlined (Default).
  • Or select Underline icon titles only when I point at them. (Optional)
  • Click Apply.
  • Click OK.
  • Close Control Panel.

Personally, I leave my options to be opened by a double click, as I find myself opening things I don’t really want opened, using the single click method. This is really a matter of personal preference, so if you can get used to the single click option, it should make your computing experience better.

Try it out for a while, if you can not get used to the change, or just find it doesn’t work for you go back to the Control Panel General tab and reselect Double-click to open an item (single-click to select), click Apply and then OK and close Control Panel.