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Danger in opening e-mail??
Old 02-18-2010, 11:32 AM   #1
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Danger in opening e-mail??

I know you can get in trouble if you click on links in an e-mail.
Can you get in trouble though just opening the e-mail if you don't click on
any of the links there?
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:48 AM   #2
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Hmm. I never see harm in opening an email - especially because some mail programs like outlook or entourage automatically open the emails. I would use your discretion with links though, you can usually tell if an email could be harmful to your computer.
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:53 AM   #3
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Probably best to not open it and just delete it or mark it as spam if you have that option. I do remember having opened emails in the past that contain virusus then that would send out emails with my address as the sender. I'd get calls asking if I sent that.
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:59 AM   #4
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I've never heard of merely *opening* an e-mail as being hazardous.

Clicking on links or opening attachments, on the other hand, is a different story. Still, I'd err on the side of safety and not open it at all if I didn't know the sender or the subject line. More often than not the spam filter in my mail application deals with it anyway.
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:39 PM   #5
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At the federal agency that was my FORMER place of employment....

... our IT security people repeatedly cautioned us against having Outlook configured with that screen that would automatically allow us to see the e-mail contents. Guess that was called a preview screen or something. They claimed it was a vulnerability issue.

The reason that I remember this, is that for ten years I had Outlook configured that way anyway (rebel that I am), and I was a little nervous/guilty about that.
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:46 PM   #6
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At the federal agency that was my FORMER place of employment....

... our IT security people repeatedly cautioned us against having Outlook configured with that screen that would automatically allow us to see the e-mail contents. Guess that was called a preview screen or something. They claimed it was a vulnerability issue.
I would think it depends on whether Outlook was configured to automatically do things like run scripts or open attachments in the e-mail -- which would be really bad ideas from a security standpoint.

A more practical reason for an employer's policy like this is to avoid the potential for things like graphic pornographic spam and other "not safe for work" items to display on your screen in the workplace. Still, better safe than sorry where the content is concerned, I suppose...
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Old 02-18-2010, 12:56 PM   #7
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Not sure, but I think that email containing images may be the problem. Often, the images are not embedded in the email, but are downloaded via a link in the email and may contain malicious code, or at least verify that your email address is valid to a spammer.
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:02 PM   #8
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Not sure, but I think that email containing images may be the problem. Often, the images are not embedded in the email, but are downloaded via a link in the email and may contain malicious code, or at least verify that your email address is valid to a spammer.
Correct, which is why some mail systems such as gmail don't display images when you open the e-mail, but gives you the option to display them - this one time or always if you trust the sender.

That is one reason why W2R's IT group recommended e-mail not be previewed. Our mail system where I used to work (feels good saying that ) did not display images so the preview pane was irrelevant.
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Old 02-18-2010, 02:32 PM   #9
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Images and http links that automatically open can be hazardous.
In addition to the suggestions given above, another line of defense is an up-to-date antivirus software package. I use Norton AV, as I have not been able to bring myself to use the free ones. I can usually get the NAV 3 user license for $55 with $50 in rebates, so it's almost free anyway.
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Old 02-18-2010, 02:58 PM   #10
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Thanks all for your wisdom. Makes sense. I don't have preview on my e-mail and at least one says no pics unless I opt to vouch for the trusted source so it sounds like I'm probably ok. I usually wait till I go to the library if I'm curious to see the words but sometimes I sneak a peek anyway. If I understand the reason something's forbidden I'm less likely to break the rules.
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Old 02-18-2010, 02:59 PM   #11
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Yes, it can be hazardous, just like going to a web site can be hazardous. Turn off HTML and scripting.
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
Can you get in trouble though just opening the e-mail if you don't click on any of the links there?
Quote:
Originally Posted by cboenews View Post
Hmm. I never see harm in opening an email - especially because some mail programs like outlook or entourage automatically open the emails.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
I've never heard of merely *opening* an e-mail as being hazardous.
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Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
I do remember having opened emails in the past that contain virusus then that would send out emails with my address as the sender.
Hotmail has a little server vulnerability that they don't like to talk about:
Hotmail's "RE HI" malware
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:14 PM   #13
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Nords, thanks for the info. When I click on the link I get a "page not found" error message. Does it work for you? I know often w/ older stuff that I bookmark , I get similar error messages so I've gone to copy/paste the whole article if I really want to save it instead of just saving the link.
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:21 PM   #14
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Nope, it's there for me. Here's the HTML:
http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f27/hotmails-re-hi-malware-43892.html

Here's another thread on the issue:
https://windowslivehelp.com/community/t/22286.aspx
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:13 PM   #15
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Thanks again, Nords. Don't know why your first link worked on the 2nd try but not on the first.
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Old 02-19-2010, 06:47 AM   #16
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Opening an e-mail isn't as dangerous as opening a real letter delivered by the post man.
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