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Windows® 7 Visual™ Quick Tips by Paul McFedries

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9.5. Thwart E-mail Viruses by Reading Messages in Text

You can reduce the danger of accidentally unleashing a virus on your computer by reading all your e-mail messages in text format. E-mail messages come in two formats: plain text and HTML. The HTML format utilizes the same codes used to create Web pages. Therefore, just as some Web pages are unsafe, so are some e-mail messages. Specifically, messages can contain scripts that run automatically when you open or even just preview a message. You can prevent these scripts from running by viewing all your messages in the plain text format.

When you are viewing a message as plain text, you may realize that the message is innocuous and that it is okay to view the HTML version. To switch quickly to ...

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