Outlook 2003 blocks "web beacons" in the preview pane. It works well, until spammers get smart and use simple techniques to avoid it.
Outlook has an option to Also Trust e-mail from my Contacts. Most of us add ourselves to the Contacts folder, so if the spammers use our address in the From and To fields, the message is trusted. Don't enable this option.
Do many of your contacts send you messages with external content? So why use it? Add individuals to the safe sender list as needed, not the entire contacts list.
Spammers can trick us into adding them to our Contacts. A spam making the rounds simply states "Here's my new address. You are in my address book. Please update your records." The disclaimer used a white font and contained two small images, hidden off screen and too small for Outlook to display "Right click here to download pictures…"
The message looked blank, except for the two sentences telling you to update your records.
I wonder how many people added the address to their address book without verifying it was from the person they thought it was from?
Published July 29, 2003. Last updated on September 12, 2013.