Try our Search!

3 AOL Tricks and Tips
Jeff Pasternack

Well, here we are, after Christmas, and anyone who didn't have a computer before now does. Most folks tend to start their Internet experience with AOL and so; this column is devoted to providing some helpful hints for PC users using AOL 5.0. Although 6.0 is available, I have chosen to wait a few more months before switching to it: might as well let others suffer through the bugs. In the sections below, when you see >>>, that means "click on" the button to which the >>> is pointing.

Banish the banners
Are you tired of seeing the popup banner ads when you log onto AOL? Tired of the "targeted email messages" with helpful product solutions?

My AOL >>>Preferences >>> Marketing. From the Marketing area you'll have six choices. Click on each of the blue buttons and change your settings to "No," if that's your desire. The last button, "Additional Information," will provide you with the addresses to which you can send your request to be removed from "snail-mail" (mail delivered by the US Post Office. While it is only good for six months or so, it can drastically reduce the junk mail you receive.

Sack the Spammers
Do these look familiar? "Hot stocks to buy now!" "Sexy girls are waiting for you!" "I lost 80 pounds in 3 days!" Spam, which is the netiquette term for unsolicitied, unwanted email, is pervasive and unavoidable on AOL unless you want to tightly restrict your mail access. The easiest thing to do is to simply delete it. In general, if you open a spam and click on the "Click here to be removed" link, you will only notify the spammers that the address is valid.

You have to be really determined to fight spam and it is a never ending battle. If you do not want to get involved in sending email to the spammer's hosting company but still want to help fight it, you can go to and learn more there. Or, simply copy and paste the spam AND THE HEADERS which appear at the bottom of AOL email into the body of a new email and send it to They ask that in the Subject line of the email you simply place the abbreviation of the state in which you reside. For more information on the Spam Recycling program, visit

Saving the Address Book
You can save your address book by simply clicking on the "Keyword" button on the top right corner of the screen and type in "Address Book" and click Go. This will bring up the Address Book and in the lower right corner it, click the button that says "Save/Replace." A screen will appear asking you where on your hard drive you want to store it. Should you lose your address book or need to take it to another computer with AOL on it, simply copy that file to disk. On the new computer, perform the same procedures except this time highlight the previously saved file and restore it.

Jeff Pasternack is the president of Dynamic Consulting Group, a franchise partner of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and author of the TechnoPeasant Review.
If you have questions or comments about this column, please write to him at