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View Source is a relatively safe way to view suspicious emails, even though it is good to remain wary.
Instead of opening a message like normal in Hotmail to read it, when you're not certain about the source, does right-clicking on the message and clicking View Source open you up to viruses and malware? You could read the message through that method, right?
In this excerpt from Answercast #43, I look at using View Source as a method of checking out suspicious emails. It's "probably" safe.
Probably. And that's really the best I can offer for you there. In general, it is safe.
There is nothing in the process of viewing the source that would, for example, cause notification to go back to the sender that you retrieved an image or cause something to be executed on your machine.
So, in that sense, absolutely. View Source is safe and in fact, it's a technique that I often use to do exactly what you've just described.
Now, on the other hand, the reason I'm waffling is that it is possible that in the process of retrieving the mail in order to be viewed, the email system could do something with it.
The example that I have is if an email message contains a remote image (which is one of the ways that spammers use to determine whether an email has been opened by a real person), it is possible (it's not required, certainly View Source doesn't need this), but it is possible that the email service could retrieve the image.
In practice, I honestly don't think that happens; but I can't speak for all email services and I can't speak for them not changing their behavior intentionally or otherwise.
So, be very careful when you step around emails that you are uncertain of.
By and large, View Source should be completely safe;
But be aware that there's the possibility, however small, that it's
Next from Answercast 43 – How can I stop having to deal with annoying advertising emails every day?
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