How to be sure e-mail is safe?

Question

With the current worm/virus emails going around, I am getting a fair number of emails from persons I have never heard of with subject lines typically something like "Re: the document you requested." I generally use Dellnet by MSN for my email (which is much like hotmail). The emails usually are sent automatically to my "junk" box although a few also wind up in my inbox. I routinely mark those in the inbox as "junk" which deletes them; I also simply empty my junk box.

However, I am wondering: are the infected messages ALWAYS in an ATTACHED file that has to be opened after the email itself is opened? Can I safely read suspected emails in MS Outlook's Preview Pane without fear of being infected? (I also have Outlook but do not generally use it for email.)

I should mention that MSNetwork uses McAfee and I have also Norton on the computer with automatic live-update set to check for updates every time I log on (I have dial-up), plus I run a complete scan once per week.

Thanks for your time and courtesy.

Lansin

Answer

This question was answered on March 9, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

You really should not open any suspicious e-mail If you do not know the sender don't bother opening the e-mail as it is most likely spam or it could be a virus Especially e-mail with attachments DO NOT open them unless you know who it is from If you have norton you will be safe because any virus that may enter you pc will be automatically detected But if you see any e-mail with wierd subject lines don't even bother opening them.

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Author

Posted by Student of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on March 9, 2004