Why are asterisks replacing my company name in Outlook Emails

Posted on 2004-09-28
Last Modified: 2010-04-08
I use Outlook 2003 on Windows 2003 Server Standard Edition. When I send an email, the recipient cannot reply to me using the standard "reply" button because my company name in my email address is replaced by asterisks. Example: say my company name is disney; and my real email address is;, the email header in the email I send shows gsmith@******.com???

I also noticed that any occurances of my company name in either the Subject line or the Body of the email also get replaced by asterisks? Can anyone help? I have tried searching the Internet but nothing so far.

Thanks, Jason

jdavey@******.com (or jdavey@******.com!!!)
Question by:jasondavey
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Expert Comment

ID: 12173097
Going through your companys exchange server, possibly?  Company worried about security a lot?

Author Comment

ID: 12173209
No - the account is an 3rd party hosted POP account so we don't have to manage email servers. I will pose this same question to them.

Expert Comment

ID: 12173269
Hmmmm....  If it's throught a 3rd party, they shouldn't be blocking your company name. Unless they are doing some extra special services for your company.

One more thing: when you posted your email addresses  in the end of your post, did you post them with the asterisks instead of a domain name????

Author Comment

ID: 12173376
No - I posted my email address as it should appear. I've contacted my hosted POP company for help also. I have searched high and lo on the web, including and Outlook etc. I have a feeling that something in Outlook 2003 is encrypting my company name. However, I have no idea why, or what the point in doing that would be. When I try to send an email from the Web Outlook, no problem, nor do I get this issue when sending an email via the provided web interface at my hosted POP website. It only occurs when I use Outlook 2003. I have even deleted and re-created the account from scratch. I also thought it might be a virus so I scanned my whole system this morning - no viruses found (and all updates applied in both Windows / Symantec).

Again - the text replacement is very selective and pervasive in the email header, subject line and main body. Something is scanning that text and replacing all occurances of "******" with ****** - weird!
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Expert Comment

ID: 12174114
>>>No - I posted my email address as it should appear.

So, you posted you email address to this website and it shows up as asterisks? (as it did again in your latest post)  Very odd indeed.  I'm pretty confident that it's something your company is doing for security reasons.  Don't ask me how they are accomplishing it, but it sure seems to be the case.  Is there someone in the Technology/Security department in your company you can talk to about this?  

That's really all I can think of that would cause this.

Author Comment

ID: 12176730
OK - I finally figured out the problem. It was Zone Alarm. Last week I was using a feature in the new version called "Vault". It is designed to store and encrypt a library of usernames and passwords etc. When you set one of these up, all data that passes through http requests is scanned by zone alarm and if either a username of password matches outgoing data, it encrypts it as asterisks no matter where it is. So in my case, I had a username that was "versys" and all outgoing data that matched versys was encrypted. To fix the problem, I simply removed the record from the Vault.


Expert Comment

ID: 12179390
Oh, I see.  That is interesting.  I can finally see versys instead of ****** now!!  

Glad you got it figured out!

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