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Kudos0

Opening unknown emails

  Using Outlook Express and getting my email through Hotmail, is there a safe way to open a suspicious email message?  Is right clicking the message and clicking on Properties, the same as opening the email message?  Would this still let any possibly malware invade my system?  I would guess about 99% of the junk email is spam and I don't open them, but some of them look like they could be valid emails and I would like to check them.

Replies

Kudos4 Stats

Re: Opening unknown emails

Hi PC_confused,

In OE Options, Read tab, put a checkmark next to "Read all messages in plain text."  Then open the Security tab and configure the settings as shown below.  "OK" your way out.  Don't open attachments, and you will be safe.  See this article for a fuller explanation:

http://surfthenetsafely.com/reademailsafely.htm

Kudos0

Re: Opening unknown emails

SoJ,

Thanks for the information. Can you comment on the OP's question:

<< Is right clicking the message and clicking on Properties, the same as opening the email message?  Would this still let any possibly malware invade my system?  >>

For a number of reasons I prefer to receive our email in HTML format but both for myself and particularly when my wife asks about something she is suspicious of, I use the technique of Right Mouse Click / Properties > Details > Message Source which seems to give a plain text version and shows details of any links.

If I'm reporting phishing to a bank etc then I CTRL+A / Copy and paste the source into a Forward email to the bank's phishing address.

So I'm interested on the general safety of doing that .....

Hugh
Kudos0

Re: Opening unknown emails

PC_confused,

Thanks for asking ....

Do you have the Status Bar enabled on Outlook Express under View in the Menu bar? This I find very useful since when I hold the mouse pointer over a link -- without clicking -- it shows in the Status Bar where it actually goes to and sometimes you can see very easily that this is not from the address shown in the link in the message.

The same Status Bar is available in Internet Explorer if you right mouse click on the Toolbar.

Hugh
Kudos0

Re: Opening unknown emails

SendOfJive - Thanks for the link.  It has a lot of information on Microsofts Outlook Express options.  Maybe I can find a way to make the same thing happen in Hotmail.

huwyngr - When I went to SendOfJive's link and read under the section "Read Text Only", I think it does suggest using the right click, properties, details, message source, method of reading mail.  I tried it and I didn't see any message, just the header information. 

Kudos0

Re: Opening unknown emails


huwyngr wrote:
I use the technique of Right Mouse Click / Properties > Details > Message Source which seems to give a plain text version and shows details of any links.

This technique is mentioned at the end of the article in the link I provided.  Insofar as the message is opened in plain text it is very safe, and a good way to check suspect messages while still leaving HTML enabled globally as you prefer.

PC_confused - if you scroll down far enough in message source you will see the body of the email message.  Maximizing the Window helps, too.

Kudos0

Re: Opening unknown emails

Hello PC_confused

I can see the messages when I do what you just said you did.

Success always occurs in private and failure in full view. Windows 10 Pro 64 bit Norton Core Security Plus 22.18.0.213 Core Firmware 282 I E 11 Chrome latest version.
Kudos0

Re: Opening unknown emails


PC_confused wrote:

[ ... ]

huwyngr - When I went to SendOfJive's link and read under the section "Read Text Only", I think it does suggest using the right click, properties, details, message source, method of reading mail.  I tried it and I didn't see any message, just the header information. 


That's odd -- I just checked both a Norton Forum subscription advice and an advertising email and both show the text of the message that you see in Outlook Explress. For example (without the header and my email address:



This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

--MIMEBoundary3273e9db83dc226b631d1ed5f99ddf5b
Content-Type: text/plain;
 charset="ISO-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

===========================================
  CompUSA.com:  Don't You Dare Pay More!
===========================================

40 Deals Up To 40% Off


Click below to see the deals:
http://www.compusa.com/email/compusa/COMEM591.asp?SRCCODE=COMEM591TT&cm_mmc=Email-_-Main-_-COMEM591-_-email


Regards,

CompUSA
Deal Alert Team

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PERMISSION SETTINGS:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Our records indicate we have your permission to send email to the following address:
XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

If you wish to UNSUBSCRIBE click here or go to:
YYYYYYYYYYYYYY


PRICE AFTER MAIL-IN REBATES. CLICK ITEM FOR DETAILS. Prices valid thru 07/08/2010
Not responsible for typographical, technical, or descriptive errors of products
herein.
Prices are subject to change. Items may be available online or by phone only--prices
and availability in CompUSA.com stores may be limited.

Exclusive Email Clickable Coupons cannot be combined with other offers or discounts. Clickable Coupons are not applicable to prior orders. Clickable Coupons are subject to change without notice.

††FREE Shipping offer valid on orders over $100 with a weight of 25 lbs. or less. This offer is only valid for orders that qualify for and ship via UPS Ground Shipping within the contiguous lower 48 States (AK, HI, PR and International orders are excluded). Offer valid for a limited time only. One Order per customer. This offer may not be used in conjunction with any other discounts.

© 2010 CompUSA.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. CompUSA and CompUSA.com are registered trademarks of New CompUSA Corp. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. Some images used herein were obtained from Jupiterimages Corporation. ©2008 Jupiterimages Corporation. CompUSA.com, Inc. PO Box 440309, Miami, Florida, 33144-0309.


Hugh
Kudos0

Re: Opening unknown emails

Thanks to all....  I should have gone to full screen or scrolled all the way down, to read the message content.  It works.

Kudos0

Re: Opening unknown emails

Understood!

Now to hear SoJ's opinion on relative safety ....

Hugh
Kudos0

Re: Opening unknown emails


huwyngr wrote:

Understood!

Now to hear SoJ's opinion on relative safety ....


Avoid your relatives at all costs.

Actually if you are referring to my earlier use of the phrase "very safe" I could have said "completely safe" but you know what happens as soon as you state that something can be relied upon with absolute certainty.... 

Kudos0

Re: Opening unknown emails

SoJ,

Sorry not to have followed up on your link but I thought it was giving more information on getting plain text messages so I skipped it .....

Hugh
Kudos0

Re: Opening unknown emails

I was referring to the dangers of absolutism, not the character of your relatives .....

Hugh
Kudos1 Stats

Re: Opening unknown emails

Speaking of relatives, and my point regarding relative safety, the xkcd.com webcomic site posted this cartoon today right on cue:

Kudos0

Re: Opening unknown emails

HI SendOfJive,

That's a good one!

Allen

Windows 7 Ultimate SP 1, 64 bit, 32 GB * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32* Ghost 15 * IE 9, Firefox, Safari. Test laptop with W7 Home Premium 64 bit * NIS Vers. 21.6.0.32

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