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Outlook Express - the most important settings

Although a lot more detailed information is held in the password protected area of our Web Site we have documented here the most basic problems and what to do to overcome them. The detailed instructions about how to make these changes are only available to thos people who have full access to this site.

The settings that open the "gates" of hell

Do you want Outlook to be cute or safe? - guess which is the default!

This one change can make a very, very big difference to how Outlook handles mail. The changes to Internet Explorer (MSIE) outlined below will significantly add the the safety, particularly now that Worms are being spread onto legitimate Web Sites that are running the Microsoft Site Server product.

The clue about what needs to be changed is entitled "More secure"

Just in case you are still wondering - More secure is the right answer.

Do you want Internet Explorer to show some really cool tricks or to be safe? - guess which is the default!

There are several places that this needs to be changed but basically the rule is to turn Active-X off by default which means doing this for what is called the Internet Zone. The image to the right is only an example of where Active-X is mentioned in the prompts.

As an aside - while making changes to zones - change the "Restricted Zone" to disable every possible option.

Other changes to make in Internet Explorer!

In the Advanced Tab: Install on Demand should be turned off, Check for signatures on downloaded programs should be turned on and you can "try" using your browser without plug-ins by deselecting Enable third-party browser extensions. The latter may need to be undone if you find that critical sites no longer function adequately.

Most of the other changes are within Zones. Only the trusted zone (plus maybe LAN zone if really necessary) should have Active-X turned on or better set to prompt. In general and certainly for the Internet zone then any option referring to any of the following should be disabled: Active-X, Access Data, Copy files, Desktop Installation, Prompt for User Name and Password and the only item that refers to scripting that should be enabled is: "Active Scripting"

I hope that has been useful. Any Comments, suggestions or corrections to: Contact us please. This would be especially useful if the software environment you have is different to mine and the headinds, text or prompts are different.


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