Hells and Caco
.....my thanks for both of your replies....
As I said, I really do not use the hotmail account for anything other than Yahoo! verification and the groups I subscribe to are not of the "more alternative" variety.
Hells suggestion would sem to be nearer the mark as I do run a full security programme c/o Norton and the problems only began when I downloaded it recently....although when I first acquired the current PC, there were no problems when I initially started to use it.
I have tried Caco's suggestion re the bit ident, but the problem remained afterwards....hence the query on here.