Preview email in reading panel... is it safe?

hello there,

i’m using MS Outlook 2003. I 've disabled to automatically download pictures which are linked in the email content.

i’ve a simple question here, if i read my email in the reading pane… is it safe to get rid of the spyware ,trojan and etc? I immediately move it manually to junk mail box if it’s a spam.

any comment and suggestion are welcome!


At my work we all use Outlook 2003 and they do ask us to turn off the preview pane. Our provider “Solution 1” does monitor email attachments and has recently removed viruses from 2 that I have received as junk mail. Your best bet is to have it off so that you aren’t automatically reading spam emails etc. Once you’ve read the spam emails you’ll get more and more. Personally, I leave the reading pane off and just right click the spam message and add sender to Blocked Addresses under Junkmail. Did you know Comodo has it’s own free anti-spam program? Check it out here:

Hope this helps.


Hi Eric,
thanks 4 your advice. however, my question remains… Is it safe to read the spam mail at reading pane?


I think it’s still safe as long as you don’t download the images or auto reply to read receipts and don’t open any attachments to the spam emails. One never knows…

As I understand it, there have been situations in the past where, because of a security vulnerability, simply viewing an email in the reading pane could infect a computer with malware/etc. This is why for the best security possible, it is best to view email as plain text so malicious HTML code, etc cannot be executed and/or to turn off the reading pane. Generally speaking, such steps aren’t completely necessary; it just depends on how “paranoid” you are.

At work, I keep the reading pane off, but the “Auto Preview” feature on; this is because I have a normal width screen that gets cramped with the reading pane on. At home, with a WUXGA+ screen, I leave the reading pane on.