Microsoft Outlook Security

Howdy one and all and welcome back to this weeks fun filled and exciting edition of The Weekly Geek.

In this week’s low carb, low sugar and high energy article we are going to go over a few ways to secure Microsoft Outlook. In the last article we went over Outlook Express and its helpful settings.

Now as a quick word, Outlook and Outlook Express are not related. The Express version is for e-mail and newsgroups while Outlook is a full blown personal information manager (PIM). Their coding is not very similar so add-on tools (like SPAM filters) are written differently and thus so are needed security measures.

First of all, to help defend against visual basic virus’s click here and look back at the Outlook Express way, it is identical. Also, refer back to this article on the three different e-mail types for the safest way to send and receive e-mails.

Now let’s move on to that fun filled world that every little boy and girl wants to visit, Outlookland!
To modify the security settings in Outlook 98, 2000 and XP start Outlook and then go to the Menu bar (the text at the top of the Outlook window) and select Tools and from the drop down menu.

Now choose Options, a new window will appear.

In that window you will want to select the Security tab listed across the top.

Now, you will need to look for the Secure content or the Security Zones section depending upon which version of Outlook you are using.

Click one time on the Zone Settings button, this will bring up a warning, simply press OK to continue.

After selecting the OK button you will have a new window appear.
You will need to select the Custom Level button at the bottom of the window to go in and make your personal choices.
Under the .NET Framework section I Disable both choices. If you use a program such as the mortgage industries Point program you will need to select Prompt for the Run components signed with Authenticode.
Under the ActiveX section I set download signed ActiveX controls to Prompt and everything else under this section to Disable.
The Downloads section is next, here I Disable File download and choose Prompt for Font download.
Scrolling down the right hand window you will come to the Miscellaneous security section. In this area I Disable all of the following areas of choice: Access data sources across domains, Allow META REFRESH, Drag and drop or copy and paste files, Installation of desktop items, Launching programs and files in an IFRAME, Navigate sub-frames across different domains, and Userdata persistence while setting Display Mixed Content, Submit nonencrypted form data to Prompt.

The final area I want to cover here is the Scripting section. On my personal machine and the one my wife uses I set everything to Disable. Under a few circumstances and on a couple of less used computers that I have the settings are all set for Prompt, which at times can be a real pain depending upon the web sites you visit.

You will need to experiment with the above suggestions. You may find that if you turn everything under these sections to Prompt your internet viewing experience is way too limited or disrupted.
Well, that’s it for this fun and exciting edition of The Weekly Geek, stay tuned next week for more tips on securing Outlook against more of the internet prowlers. Until then have a virus free week.