Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Microsoft Outlook will warn you when another program attempts to access its address book because many viruses do so in an attempt to spread.
A program is trying to access my email addresses - why?
If you've seen this popup message:
Then you know the question. Why is Outlook telling you that someone is accessing your contacts?
If you have to ask, then chances are the news isn't good.
Microsoft added this warning to Outlook in response to a series of email-borne viruses that, once they infect, try to spread by sending email to everyone to everyone in your address book. Now, when a program tries to that Outlook asks if it's okay before actually allowing that program to see your contacts.
There are legitimate cases where a program would want to access your address book. For example my cell phone comes with software that allows me to synchronize my address book with one kept on the phone. But the important point is that I know it, and I know when it's happening. If that message pops up at some time when it's not expected then it might be cause for concern.
The concern, of course, is that you might be infected with one of those viruses. And you can guess my advice: update your virus scanner and scan right away.
And for what it's worth, it's a vicious circle: virus writers have found ways around the protection afforded by this feature in Outlook, and Microsoft has patched those vulnerabilities. The virus writers are probably busy at work looking for a new way around those patches.
The moral is the same as my advice: regularly update your virus scanner and scan.
Comments on this entry are closed.
If you have a question, start by using the search box up at the top of the page - there's a very good chance that your question has already been answered on Ask Leo!.
If you don't find your answer, head out to http://askleo.com/ask to ask your question.