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Is it safe to preview an email?



  Preview of E-mail in Alert
Belozersky / Shutterstock

In the early 2000s, many security experts recommended disabling the preview feature of your e-mail client. Viewing a preview of an email can be dangerous! This is not good advice anymore. With a modern e-mail client, you can preview all the e-mails you want.

If you do not have a time machine, this is for sure.

We recently published an article about enabling the preview section in Gmail. Through article comments, emails and Twitter DMs, some people have asked us if the preview window can be safely used.

Previously, articles that recommended that you disable the preview window were commonplace. Many websites made the case that using the preview window was a bad idea. You often did not specify why, except that you say, "You can open an e-mail message that you really did not want to open." This implies that a virus or other malicious process may end up on your computer if You open an infected file Email. To be honest, this was a problem for a short time at the beginning of the millennium.

After emails used HTML for formatting, some malicious actors used it to execute code ̵

1; usually JavaScript – if an email was present. For a short time it was considered dangerous to open emails and use the preview window unless you were sure the email was secure.

But the most important email developers of the time, including Microsoft, Pegasus, Eudora, and Apple (there was no Gmail at the time), quickly came up with the case. Within a few years, the problem had virtually disappeared as all e-mail clients stopped executing code when an e-mail was opened. No e-mail client now allows you to run code when you open an e-mail, and this has not been allowed for over a decade. So, if you do not use a very, very old, unpatched email client (think Outlook Express at 2000 on a Windows 98 computer), your mail program simply does not allow code when you open an email.

If You Do not Read This If you are reading this article from the early 2000s with a time machine, you should be safe.

RELATED: Enabling Gmail's hidden email preview window

Here's the real danger

Top of which are all major email account providers like Microsoft, Apple, Gmail and Yahoo! have sophisticated virus and malware detection programs that will not let viruses and malware get into your inbox. This does not mean that there is no threat of email, but the threat now requires you to do for example, open an attachment or click on a link. Unfortunately, there are occasional articles that suggest a danger to the preview window, but we would not recommend following such outdated and incorrect advice.

The problem no longer exists, so turning off the preview area What you do makes life more difficult for you.

As we said earlier, opening emails is safe. The risk is to follow phishing links and open dangerous attachments. These risks are the same regardless of whether you use a desktop client like Microsoft Outlook or web-based emails like Gmail.

If your email client or web browser does not contain an unpatched vulnerability, malicious email can be exploited. This should not be the case. You should use a current e-mail client and a web browser. Do not use an old, outdated email client. (You may be surprised how many people do this.)

Yes, you can use the preview section and you can enjoy the productivity gains that you get! We strongly recommend making the preview window of Gmail spin.

RELATED: Why you can not get infected just by sending an email (Anymore)


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