Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
There are two kinds of mail that can end up in your junk or spam folder. It's really best not to look at the bad stuff!
If email is in my Junk folder, am I not supposed to open it? Sometimes, Hotmail puts things in Junk that I want to read. I suppose curiosity gets the best of me.
In this excerpt from Answercast #37, I look at the dangers of reading emails out of your junk folder and how to safely retrieve false positives.
There are two classes of things that are going to end up in your junk mail folder.
Nine times out of ten, it's probably okay. Most of the time, links will be blocked, scripting will be blocked by default, and so forth. So, if your curiosity does get the best of you on those and you really want to see what the spam is all about, it's probably not going to hurt you much.
I have to say "probably" because there's always a possibility of something going wrong – especially with maliciously crafted email:
Clearly, they are trying to make something bad happen.
Sometimes, it's as simple as just sending you to a website that you don't need to go to.
Sometimes, it's more nefarious than that.
The other thing you're going to find in your junk mail folder (and the reason you do actually want to look at it from time to time) is:
That's something that you need to tell Hotmail about and the way you tell Hotmail about it is:
You open the email (that you know is email that you actually wanted; it's from someone you know or some place you were expecting email from).
And you click the Not Junk button at the top of the message.
It's actually very simple. What that will do is immediately move the mail that you just marked as not junk back to your inbox and you can continue to read it (or do whatever else you would want to do with it) from there.
So the junk mail folder is something that you do want to look at periodically with the intent that what you are looking for are "false positives." Mark those as "not junk" and act on them in your inbox as you normally would.
Next from Answercast 37 – Are computer users getting smarter?