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When login not accepted, cookies might be to blame

July 29, 2007|By TIM HENDERSON

Q. I use Yahoo e-mail on the Web, and it works fine on my work computer, but at home it stopped accepting my login. The same username and password work fine at work, so something must be wrong with my home computer.

A. When this happens to me, it's almost always about cookies, the little notes that Web sites leave on your computer to remember who you are.

If an important cookie is blocked, it may have no idea you've already logged on with a correct password.

Dealing with this is easy, but not obvious. If you think blocked cookies are part of the problem and you use Internet Explorer, look for a tiny icon with an eye and a red circle - at first I thought it was a planet with a ring around it.

When you hover your mouse over it, it will say Privacy Report. Double-click that icon to bring up the report. It lists blocked cookies.

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You don't necessarily want to unblock cookies from obvious advertiser sites, but if it looks to be related to the site you're using, right-click it and choose Allow.

Q. I copied, or thought I copied, my Outlook Express folders to a thumb drive. When I checked to be sure, all had DBX extensions. I couldn't open them.

A. Don't worry, you did everything right. Any time you want to use those folders again in Outlook Express, you can import them and use them.

You can't open them because they have no function outside of storing messages for use within Outlook Express.

Tim Henderson is database editor for the Miami Herald's computer-assisted reporting team. Send questions to thenderson@miamiherald.com.

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