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By Setting Outlook Express to avoid Malicious eMails
Bill Williams

Edit MessageUploaded - 4 Aug 2001 02:06

Setting Outlook Express to avoid Malicious HTML emails

The most useful anti-html virus tool in Outlook Express is to use the latest OE 5 that comes with IE 5.5 and then set Tools... Options.. Security... Restricted Sites

Then in Internet Options (from Control Panel or IE5 Tools menu or IE5.. Tools... Options... Connection... Internet Connection Settings ... Change ... Security..) set the security level for Restricted Sites to High, this prompts or prohibits all scripting or running of ActiveX or Java applets.

Only Spam or Viral attacks are ever likely to use scripts in an email, so this will prevent them running. As far as I know all the loopholes which have let viruses in by simply viewing and email are all some scripting flaw. If you have set security to Prompt mode you can see which buggers are trying it on.

NOTICE: Before upgrading to IE5.5 & OE5 do an export of your address book to a CSV file. I have seen cases where the address book was not correctly converted during upgrade. If it fails you can then Import the
CSV version.

You still need to be careful about Attachments of course, that is a different matter.


Revised on 9 Aug 2001

Revised on 31 May 2003

Bill Williams

Edit MessageUploaded - 31 May 2003 17:49

In Outlook Express version 6 SP1, Microsoft finally bowed to popular request and provided a facility so that all emails can be shown in text only mode. This prevents almost all of the nasty tricks used by virus writers and hackers from executing.

Of course you give up pretty emails, but who cares, almost all of those are SPAM anyway.

Setting it to display in text only is a truly excellent security tip.

This is how you set it:

In Outlook Express version 6, drop down the Tools menu and select Options.

Then select the tab called Read and put a tick in "Read all messages in Plain Text"

If the option is not present then you have not yet upgraded to SP1 (= Service Pack 1)

Then do enough OKs to get back to normal screens.

You still need to be careful about Attachments of course, that is a different matter.

The Golden rules are:

Never open an attachment unless it arrives
(a) from someone you know
(b) you were expecting it as a result of earlier valid communications with the sender.

If you get an unexpected attachment contact the sender to verify that it was really him/her that sent it and that it is safe to open.

Beware of fake emails that seem to come from Microsoft or Anti-Virus Companies or Credit Card companies etc.


Revised on 31 May 2003

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