Too much security?

By | May 7, 2011
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Sandy wonders if she has too much security
I recently started using Windows 7 Professional (64 bit) on a new Dell computer XPS9100. I’m also using Windows Live Mail and running IE9. My problem is: almost every time I try to open a link to/from a website on IE9 or WLM, I get this message “there was a problem sending the command to the program”. I have to exit the page and try again – sometimes it works and other time I have to exit IE completely and try again. It’s very annoying.

I read online that others had that same problem dating back to 2009. I’m wondering why it hasn’t been corrected by now. I use McAfee as my security software. I also have Windows Firewall turned on and in the Security options of IE9; I have “Enable Protection Mode” turned on. I also have McAfee’s “Site Advisor” activated. I am wondering if maybe too much security is the fault.

I also just realized that the “drag and drop” feature does not exists in Windows 7. Why?
I am not terribly impressed with Windows Live Mail, although I’m trying to learn how to use it properly. I miss Outlook Express’ simplicity. WLM seems so crowded. I also have a Gmail account, but use it only when I’m travelling.

Do you have any words of wisdom regarding the problem I have with opening links? I enjoyed your newsletter. Thank you so much.

Our answer
You have hinted at the source of your problem – too much security equals too many annoyances. Imagine living in a house with four locks on the door. And every time you wanted to leave your house you had to unlock four locks, then relock all four locks after you were outside. And when you came back home again – in the rain – you’d be fumbling around for the four keys to unlock the four locks. Annoying.

And Windows Live Mail isn’t getting any better. Microsoft seems to be making it worse. Why? We wish we knew. Maybe they’re trying to drum up business for Outlook.

McAfee’s Security Suite contains a firewall, and you’re also using Windows firewall. All you need is Windows firewall despite what the geeks may say. If you look closely at those tech sites who recommend that you use a 3rd-party firewall – you’ll notice they’re probably selling one. McAfee is annoying enough as it is. You’d be better off using Microsoft Security Essentials. It’s free and it protects your computer every bit as well as McAfee. The price of a security suite is not indicative of the protection it provides. Microsoft Security Essentials matched or beat McAfee and Norton in test conducted by AV Comparatives – an independent testing lab.

And your Internet Explorer 9 security settings are set too high. You don’t need to use protected mode. You should set your security level to medium-high and uncheck “Enable Protected Mode”.

Even with all your security protection links may be opening but opening in a new tab. Your browser would stay on whatever tab you had open and not automatically switch to a new tab. You should change your Internet Explorer setting to “Always switch to new tabs when they are created.” You can do this by clicking “Tools/Internet Options” and in the General dialog, click “Settings” under the “Tabs” heading and check the box next to “Always switch to new tabs when they are created.” Then click “OK”.

Windows Live Mail probably isn’t going to improve any time soon. Of course we don’t know that for sure but if prior history is an indicator of future performance then we are not hopeful that it will improve.

If you’re looking for a more Outlook Express-like program, you might want to give Thunderbird (free) a try. It will import your accounts from Windows Live Mail. While Thunderbird is more Outlook Express-like than Windows Live Mail, it’s still not Outlook Express. You can read more about and/or download Thunderbird here:

So let’s summarize our suggestions:

1. Get rid of McAfee
2. Install Microsoft Security Essentials
3. Uncheck Protected Mode in Internet Explorer, set your security settings to medium-high
4. Make sure you have tabs in Internet Explorer so that IE switches to them when they are opened.
5. If you’re not happy with Windows Live Mail, give Thunderbird a try.

One thought on “Too much security?

  1. William Dinkins

    Switch to Firefox and dump IE9. I do use MSE but had all kinds of problems with IE9.


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