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  1. [ Team LiB ] Viruses and Email Attachments Some people like to send out joke programs to their friends and opening these is risky. You have no way of knowing whether the file is safe. Opening every file Aunt Carol sends often results in your computer being infected with a virus, trojan horse application, or spyware. Many times your friends are not aware they're infected until you alert them. The newest viruses get email address from any source— they listen to data that your modem sends and receives to get email addresses from your incoming and outgoing email, Web pages, and files in your Internet cache folder. Many viruses also include their own outgoing mail server so that you won't notice Outlook sending messages. Overall, Outlook 2003 is much more secure than previous versions of Outlook. The Outlook Object Model (OOM) puts up a warning when a program attempts to read email addresses or message bodies. When you try to mail merge to email, you might have to approve every message. The Preview pane is inactive and scripts won't run in email. There's no way Outlook will cause your system to become infected without a lot of help from you. But that doesn't mean you're home free. You still need to be careful, especially with email attachments. You know what viruses are, but what are trojan horses and spyware? Trojan horses are small programs that permit hackers to take control of your computer. At the very least, hackers can use your computer to attack other computers. At the other end of the scale, they might have full access to all the files on your drive, including any personal financial data you might have. Spyware is also known as adware, and although it usually isn't destructive, it downloads files to your drive and is often responsible for crashes. The first and possibly most important thing you can do is not open every attachment you receive, even if it's from your beloved Aunt Carol. Remember, cleaning up after a virus won't be nearly as funny as the joke she sent you. If the attachment isn't necessary for
  2. your work or personal business, don't open it. When you stop opening every attachment that friends send you, you reduce your chances of infection to almost nothing. Remember to check for security updates regularly at Windows Update and Office Update (office.microsoft.com). [ Team LiB ]