Diplaying html in emails

I read an article that said it is best to turn off html settings when reading emails so SPAMers cannot see if you read or open any of there emails. I run OE and cannot figure out how to turn off something like this. I read that if you have html on, the SPAMers can see if you read there email, how long you looked at it and send the info back to them? Just curious if anyone else has heard of something like this or if they can suggest what settings to have on/off in OE for me to run safe. I already use NIS2004 for filtering, but notice alot of SPAMers try and have my email address sent back to them, but the NIS blocks it with a notice to me.  Any help would be great
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
Hi bfeldman13,

To read all mail in plain text in Outlook Express:

1) Select Tools | Options... from the menu.
2) Go to the Read tab.
3) Make sure Read all messages in plain text is checked.
4) Click OK


Luc has given the perfect solution here.

You can also do this

Turn off Preview pane going to view > layout . that way you email contents wont open unless you double-click an email.
Also make sure to have the latest updates for OE. If you have windows xp , you can install SP2 . There is an option to block images and other external contents in HTML emails.
Not sure you need to have Sp2 for that but try to get all the updates for OE and see if you have that option going to
tools > options > security (tab)


Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
Btw... what spammers mostly include in a html email is a hidden link (1x1 pixel picture for example), which is actually located on their server, that way they can see if their message is read, and by what IP address. Although them having your IP isn't something to be frightened about, they have at that point found out that one of the email addresses the spam email was sent to is valid, this way they check how "effective" their message is.
Another thing spammers use is a full html email, of which the contents are fully on their server, this way they can indeed check if "someone" read the email, at what time, and for how long by checking their servers logfiles.
Again, they don't know the precise email address belonging to the one who's watching the page (except if every email get's it's own content, which is happening more and more)

Ultimate Tool Kit for Technology Solution Provider

Broken down into practical pointers and step-by-step instructions, the IT Service Excellence Tool Kit delivers expert advice for technology solution providers. Get your free copy now.

bfeldman13Author Commented:
What exactly does this do for me? Does it really prevent spamers from knowing I opened or even glanced at it in the pane like the article said?
LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
Yep, as html content won't be displayed then. HTML emails can contain links to external webservers (like the spammers')

bfeldman13Author Commented:
Is this how I get more SPAM, by not having that box checked in OE? I get like 50 SPAM's a day that NIS2004 filters to the SPAM box.
LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
The main cause of spam is that spiders are able to harvest your email address from the internet somewhere.
As a test, browse to http://www.google.com and insert your email address in the searchbox, see if it shows up somewhere, if it does, ask the owners of those websites to have it removed to prevent it from further harvesting.

Another one, is indeed if a spammer is able to verify your email address (by redirecting you with the html code to a specific website) they'll be able to sell your email address as a "known working one" to other spammers. Yeah, lists of known working email addresses are sadly big business :(

Something interesting for you to read about how to avoid SPAMS

As Luc said do you have your email address publicly put on any websites. As you can see in EE , most of the experts put their email address as  username@domain.com where username=my profile name and domain = experts-exchange or something like that so that SPAM engines donot catch and send them emails..  Try to do something like that and see if that would reduce.

Donot expect SPAMS to reduce in few days time .. you need to wait.

Also make use of Block senders list in your OE and delete the emails coming from those email addresses(assuming they donot change often)
Make use of rules and delete emails or move them to a seperate folder in Outlook express
If whatever email you are downloading in OE has got a webmail access, ask the mail provider if they have SPAM catching filters which you can access going to webmail. I have seen good help for my univ webmail putting those filters.

FYI:  the way an HTML beacon works is the image (be it 1x1 pixel or a real image) loads from the spammers server.  The URL of the image has the email of the addresses embedded in the URL.


Just by viewing the image, the log of the image server will note the image was viewed (with your embedded email address) and, therefore, you get more spam.

A spammer does not give a flying rodent's rectum about your IP address.

A good solution to spam is mailwasher (www.firetrust.com).  It does block or filter spam, it bounces it-like the address is bad.  This way the spammer gets the bounce and the spamming server may remove your address.  Mailwasher is free for 30 days.
bfeldman13Author Commented:

is the mailwasher that you said like a pinger? Does it work like so>

spam comes in and then my program bounces an email back to see if the spamer is a real address and then they must recognize that they are real before my email will accept the message?
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.