Q: I do not belong to Facebook, but my email address has evidently been substituted in a friend’s account. I recognize some of the names sending posts, but evidently they do not know she is deceased. It’s very interesting that someone has invited people to be her “friends,”and they have accepted, but I cannot reply to stop this because I’m not a member of Facebook. I looked for way to contact Facebook, but I’m not finding a way to easily bring this to their attention. How do I get out of this mess?

— Janice Jurcan

A: I haven’t been able to confirm this yet, but I suspect that some social media platforms automate invitations to become “friends” as a way to boost network activity.

The simplest way to put an end to the problem would be to open a new email account. I do that periodically just to eliminate the spam that eventually finds its way to mail accounts.

If you’re not wanting to open a new email account, you could ask a family member of your deceased friend to shut down her Facebook account. Instructions for closing the account are on Facebook’s help center.

Q: I experience something completely out of my understanding. I am a member of the VamoLa Brazilian band, and in my email (on Earthlink using Firefox), I have a group of addresses of members that I can send group messages to. It has only about six addresses including mine.

When I send a message to this group, I always get an error message telling me that an address doesn’t exist. That address is xyz.lime.123@gmail.com. I checked with the owner of our other group, and I found out that no one else gets this error message.


Then I managed to open the group, and found that that address does NOT exist in that group. Where does it exist, how did it get there, how can it appear in a message sent to me if it is NOT in the list, and is it evil? If I delete it, will it still be a Trojan in my computer, and make me vulnerable to an attack?

I suppose I made that address up a long long time ago for some obscure reason, and have forgotten that. I still don’t understand what is happening here.

— Ray Ruhlen

A: I doubt that you’re getting this message because of a virus. It’s not the kind of things that viruses do. The most likely explanation is, as you suggest, that you entered that address in the group email entry, perhaps as a test. Since your group is small, I recommend just deleting the existing group email entry and creating a new one without that kicked-back address.


Q: I’m not able to access documents in Chrome. I do not get any error messages. Rather, Google Chrome simply doesn’t respond. I’ve attached two of the documents for you to look at. In my files these documents and photos have the Chrome icon on them and I cannot open them if my Chrome is not working. So, as I understand it, when I open such a file I’m not accessing a website, but rather a saved file. Do the attached documents open in Chrome when you open them?

— Sandy Wood

A: The documents attached to your email were PDF files and they opened just fine in Acrobat. If your computer shows those files with a Chrome symbol, I suspect that things have gotten messed up in your file associations with applications.

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You can check on that by going to the Control Panel and launching Default Programs. Next click on “Associate a file type or protocol with a program.” Make sure the PDF files are associated with Acrobat and not Chrome.