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Q&A

Q1:Do I need a Microsoft Passport to use MSN Messenger?
A1: Yes. By signing up for a free Microsoft Passport, you gain access to a free Hotmail account, instant messaging with MSN Messenger, and even computer-to-telephone communications. (Hour 14, "Managing E-mail and Newsgroups with Outlook Express," explains how to send and retrieve your Hotmail e-mail without using Internet Explorer so that you can more easily manage your messages.) Microsoft hopes to use Passport accounts in other ways as well. In the future, if you want to purchase a product directly from Microsoft or any other Passport-enabled vendor, you will be able to give the vendor your Passport sign-in name without having to type your mailing information because the Passport, with your permission, will supply it.
Q2:What is a firewall?
A2: A firewall helps guard your Internet connection from unauthorized access. Firewalls are not perfect, but for always-on Internet connections, they greatly hinder hacker attacks. The settings can be tedious, but you can fine-tune them so that, over time, you provide a customized interface between your computer and the rest of the world. That way, your computer has full access to others, but others do not have full access to your computer.


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