Security

Microsoft Outlook XP Read Receipt Bug

On the subject of spam, here's something I discovered just the other day ...

If you use Microsoft Outlook XP (2002) then be careful that read/delivery receipts aren't being sent out without you knowing ... even if you set Outlook to prompt you before sending a read/delivery receipt, or even set it not to send any at all, messages that you delete without reading will still generate the message "deleted without being read".

This is a real problem if you've set up rules to dump emails with certain popular spam phrases into the Recycle Bin and will have the same effect as sending the spammers a personal invitation! Luckily most spammers don't request a read receipt but there is always a possibility that they might, so this could be a real problem.

The solution: Mark all messages as read (from the edit menu) before deleting them from the Deleted Items folder, that way no read/delivery receipt will be sent out to the sender.

As of yet, there is no other fix for this problem. Both Recipt tracking options "Never send a response" and "Ask me before sending a response" are affected by this bug.

Check your Read Receipt Settings

Check your current tracking options by clicking: Tools > Options.

On the "Preferences" tab click on the "E-mail Options" button and then "Tracking options".

Selecting "Ask me before Sending a response" is probably the better option to choose as "Never send a response" has been known to continue sending receipts in certain versions of Outlook.

See also Spam and Ham - Can You Tell The Difference? Got a website? Protect your email address with our Spam Buster script.

Kingsley-Hughes


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