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Should I use Outlook / Outlook Express?
We highly suggest avoiding the MS Windows versions of Outlook or Outlook Express for email, due to past security holes, as well as the fact that many viruses specifically target these programs.

We suggest configuring any mail client you use not to render images hosted on remote websites, and ideally, not to render HTML at all. A lot of spam these days contains "web bugs" - small images or HTML tags used to keep statistics (either aggregate or specific) on viewers of the message.

We realize Outlook and OE are commonly used programs, and we have many articles about them in the kbase because we receive a number of support inquiries about configuration problems with them, but suggest you check out these other options, all of which are more secure, and more RFC compliant than the Microsoft programs. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments section.

In no particular order....
Pegasus Mail
Mozilla - Browser with integrated mail client.
Thunderbird - An offshoot of Mozilla's mail component
Eudora - A very popular Windows mailer
PC Pine - Windows version of the popular UNIX text-based mail program
Becky! - Not free, but an execllent client. Good support for Japanese and other foreign languages.
The Bat! - Also shareware

Many of the clients above support nntp, but for reading USENET news, also check out:

Forte Agent - Agent costs money; Free Agent is (not surprisingly) free.
Xnews
slrn slrn - Windows version of a great console based newsreader

Last updated: Feb 04, 2004.

User Post (2004-03-03 18:29:56 by bilzabub)
one good practice is to not use the preview window for your mail, shut it off.
User Post (2003-09-06 06:20:15 by dtobias)
Viruses often forge their "From" addresses, so they may well be claiming to be from somebody you know.

If you're using a reasonable mail client, like Pegasus or Mozilla (or just about anything other than Outhouse and Outhouse Excess), it's perfectly safe to open the main body of any message; no malicious stuff will be launched automatically. (Just don't launch an *attachment* unless you're sure it's safe.)
User Post (2003-09-02 22:44:14 by yayson)
I'd like to point out that Outlook and Outlook Express are fine Windows mail clients, but the users are vulnerable. They're extremely feature rich (yes, I do use most of them), they'd better be for the price right? =)

In OL or OLE, if a mail comes in from someone you don't know, don't open it. If you can't stand it and must open it, right click and choose 'options' to view the headers, if it's not plain text, don't open it. If you open an email from someone you don't know, in html format, you risk problems.
User Post (2003-08-30 06:55:32 by dtobias)
Another mail/news reader to look at is Dialog from 40tude:

http://40tude.com/dialog/
User Post (2003-08-30 06:54:44 by dtobias)
Some info on configuring mail programs in a standards compliant way is in my site:

http://mailformat.dan.info/config/