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Hour 8. Email Security

As email grew in popularity over the years, many people wanted to send pretty messages using fonts and colored text. When more email programs supported using HTML-formatted messages, HTML eventually became the quasi-standard format for email. Unfortunately, the ability to embed sounds and images in HTML-formatted messages also makes it an easy way to deliver viruses. Some people took the opportunity to see how much damage they could do to the computers of unsuspecting users by creating viruses that took advantage of Outlook's power and programmability.

Unfortunately, after virus creators took advantage of Outlook's programmability, Microsoft tightened the security of Outlook to the point it annoyed many users. Many of the most popular features, including mail merge, some VBA code, and COM add-ins, triggered a dialog every time an address was accessed. Sending and receiving attachments became more difficult because Outlook blocked many attachment types. The security features in Outlook 2003 are somewhat relaxed compared to earlier versions—trusted code runs without annoying dialogs while still providing the highest level of protection to users.


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