How secure is Outlook?


Haydon

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Outlook (email clients, and email systems in general) has become better and better at filtering out malware (and spam) over the years, but I have just received my second click bait in my inbox today. I am disappointed that Outlook did not filter out such simple click baits, makes me wonder how effective Outlook protects me against malicious email attachments (I have not received any malicious email attachments since quite a while)

How secure does your Outlook appear to you?
 

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Wynona

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Outlook (email clients, and email systems in general) has become better and better at filtering out malware (and spam) over the years, but I have just received my second click bait in my inbox today. I am disappointed that Outlook did not filter out such simple click baits, makes me wonder how effective Outlook protects me against malicious email attachments (I have not received any malicious email attachments since quite a while)

How secure does your Outlook appear to you?
I have Microsoft 365 and use Outlook.

Have you looked at this? microsoft-365-docs/configure-your-spam-filter-policies.md at public · MicrosoftDocs/microsoft-365-docs
 

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Haydon

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I have Microsoft 365 and use Outlook.
Same here.

Hm ... what does the gobbledygook mean in plain English? Does it even apply to Outlook as an email client?

Anyway, I left my Outlook (and Defender) settings at their defaults and fared quite well. In the past 12 months, I received click baits in irregular intervals of maybe once a week to once a month, which I find quite acceptable, especially compared to a few years back when the numbers were at least ten times higher.

The outlier of two simple click baits that managed to tunnel through Outlook's defences in a single day shook my confidence, the olden days weren't good in this regard.
 

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TraderGary

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I keep getting emails from the widow of a US Marine Chaplain who is dying from cancer and wants to entrust me with her 7.5-million-dollar savings. All she wants is my bank account number and my social security number so she can put the money in my account. Do you think I should do it?
 

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Wynona

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I keep getting emails from the widow of a US Marine Chaplain who is dying from cancer and wants to entrust me with her 7.5-million-dollar savings. All she wants is my bank account number and my social security number so she can put the money in my account. Do you think I should do it?
Surrrrrrrrrrrrre! Go ahead! Just like I'll fall for the surprise FedEx has for me! :p

Seriously, I had a student who had something similar the other day. She didn't reply because I've tried to warn them all about scams. She sent me a copy of the email and asked if she'd done the right thing. I explained what gave it away as a scam.
 

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jimbo45

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Hi there

@TraderGary

Scams infinitely more likely with outlook or any other email client than malware types of attacks. !!!!

Nothing wrong with outlook -- most of the problems are with people using things like gmail etc where they can receive a whole slew of unsolicited emails. Any decent spam / junk mail filter should be able to handle spam etc. I also filter out anything that has more than 5 people in a cc list -- avoids those stupid types of "general rubbish company type emails from some director you've never heard of" and use a couple of "Dummy accounts" when buying stuff over the internet.

I have an "auto reply" for those annoying messages you get whenever you buy anything these days - you know the mail that asks you to rate the service / would you recommend your purchase etc" which goes "I never buy again from places that send out these mails after I've purchased something. Some companies actually reply with an apology and remove your email address from this type of messaging !!!.

Don't also open attachments from people you don't know - especially zip or rar type of files. Scamming is far more likely by email than hacking / malware intrusions etc.

Most (but not all) isp's usually have better spam / junk filters available than using popular mail servers like gmail. The downside of isp email addresses though is usually you can't use outlook to SEND email when using the general "public" Internet as they usually control ports 25/2525 (the SMTP ports) and you have to use their webmail service instead.

Another good option is to have your own domain -- getting hosted domains is really cheap these days and they usually always come with a few email boxes - using forwarding (auto) any email sent to the domain can also be forwarded to your standard isp email address too and on SEND the recipient still receives your email address as your standard ISP one (simply set your domain outbound email server in the account you use for your isp account instead of the isp one.


Cheers
jimbo
 

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Haydon

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Scams infinitely more likely with outlook or any other email client than malware types of attacks. !!!!
I tend to agree, however ...

Don't also open attachments from people you don't know
Even email attachments from a trusted contact can contain malware if his/her computer is infected, which can happen without him/her being aware of the infection.

I used to send email attachments to virustotal.com but I have come to rely on Outlook to shield me > time to resume the good habit again, I think.

Another good option is to have your own domain -- getting hosted domains is really cheap these days and they usually always come with a few email boxes
I tend to disagree with the 'really cheap', at least for an attractive .com for a $100/year/domain and $50/year/mailbox.

"Dummy accounts"
Get your free disposable email addresses from gmail, etc
 

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dbartenstein

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I keep getting emails from the widow of a US Marine Chaplain who is dying from cancer and wants to entrust me with her 7.5-million-dollar savings. All she wants is my bank account number and my social security number so she can put the money in my account. Do you think I should do it?
As long as you can get confirmation from a Nigerian prince you should be fine.
 

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davewin11

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I use Outlook 2013 and I change relevant settings so that I send and receive only plain text. If need to show pictures then it is one click of the button.
Outlook seems to trap all spam in the Junk Email folder.
Dave
 

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Haydon

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I use Outlook 2013 and I change relevant settings so that I send and receive only plain text. If need to show pictures then it is one click of the button.
Outlook seems to trap all spam in the Junk Email folder.
Dave
I chatted with a security researcher who prefers text emails over html emails as the latter can be misused as attack vectors. That was long time ago, and I like to believe that Outlook now shields us from the hazards of html emails, not positive on that, though.
 

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Wynona

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I chatted with a security researcher who prefers text emails over html emails as the latter can be misused as attack vectors. That was long time ago, and I like to believe that Outlook now shields us from the hazards of html emails, not positive on that, though.
You can set your email to be sent and received in text.
 

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Haydon

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That's what davewin11 just said, to which I essentially responded that I am paranoid about html email but only a little :cool:

One disadvantage of text only email is that you can't display a logo in the sig block.
 

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Dru2

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I chatted with a security researcher who prefers text emails over html emails as the latter can be misused as attack vectors. That was long time ago, and I like to believe that Outlook now shields us from the hazards of html emails, not positive on that, though.
Outlook is no more or less safe than using Windows. In the end it's how you deal with security.

I've been using Outlook for over 20 years from when I was in the military to now retired 16 years later. That while I get scam email, I've never had an issue. You just have to pay attention to where your E-mail is coming from. And most scam mail is easy to spot with the biggest give away being whether your email address is listed in the "To" box. Spam won't usually list your specific email address :wink:
 

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ThrashZone

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Outlook (email clients, and email systems in general) has become better and better at filtering out malware (and spam) over the years, but I have just received my second click bait in my inbox today. I am disappointed that Outlook did not filter out such simple click baits, makes me wonder how effective Outlook protects me against malicious email attachments (I have not received any malicious email attachments since quite a while)

How secure does your Outlook appear to you?
Hi,
Problem isn't outlook
The problem is microsoft servers as a host are crap

Best thing you can do is use a different domain host like hostmonster/.... and use it
Cheapest not so great is go daddy but likely better than ms.
 

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The-Hive

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My Anti-Virus program also scans my emails and I very few
 

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jvickers

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The majority of spam emails and clickbaits go to my Junk Email folder in both Outlook accounts I have on my Outlook. I don't recall ever setting anything up that was special on my Outlook, either. I might have trained it over the years, though. I do use the "block domain name" feature when I get something that I know shouldn't be coming to me. That's a handy feature to use. As with anything, though, I think Outlook needs a certain amount of training. @Wynona has a nice screenshot, in message #5, of the options you can use to block spam.
 

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Hi,
Microsoft spam filter have always been crap and the same as outlook.com/ hotmail.com use

You and a hundred or more other people got the same bulk spam email and ms email server still doesn't tag these as spam or malicious will give you a good idea just how bad they are.
Even google is better at culling through these obvious fraud spammers.
 

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Dru2

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Windows 11 Pro 21H2 (22000.778)
Hi,
Microsoft spam filter have always been crap and the same as outlook.com/ hotmail.com use
If you're getting that much spam email perhaps you should be more careful of who you give your address to?

And if you want to claim you get no spam via Google email, I'm calling foul.
 

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OldMainframeGuy

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11:36 PM
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93
Location
RI, USA
OS
Windows 10 Professional
My employer recently upgraded all of our workstations to Windows 10 and Office 365. There's a "quarantine" feature in Outlook 365 which sends you an e-mail message listing other e-mail messages you might want blocked. I'm constantly getting an E-mail for an offer to buy "Let's Go Brandon" merchandise (might not mean anything for those outside the USA) in the "Should we quarantine this?" message. I don't know if this is something my employer configures or not but asking me if I want to release a message like that seems at best, lame.

Rob
 

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    Windows 10 Professional
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    Digital Storm VELOX
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    Intel Core i9 11900K
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    ASUS PRIME Z590-P
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    Realtek onboard
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dbartenstein

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Local time
11:36 PM
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308
OS
Win 11 Pro (Insider Beta channel)
If you're getting that much spam email perhaps you should be more careful of who you give your address to?

And if you want to claim you get no spam via Google email, I'm calling foul.
At work we use Outlook and for personal use I have Gmail. My Gmail spam box usually has 1 or 2 items a week. My work Outlook Junk folder usually has 80-100. I suspect the culprit there though is LinkedIn because that would be the only place I have used the work address outside of legitimate software vendors.
 

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  • OS
    Win 11 Pro (Insider Beta channel)
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    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer AN515-54
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-9300H CPU @ 2.40GHz 2.40 GHz
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    32GB
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    Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650, Intel UHD 630
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    Acer CB272D
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    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    256GB and 1T SSD
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    Logitech K375S
    Mouse
    Logitech M510
    Internet Speed
    250MB
    Browser
    Edge
    Antivirus
    Malwarebytes
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    Win 11 Pro (Insider Dev Channel)
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    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell E6430
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    Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3540M CPU @ 3.00GHz 3.00 GHz (non-compliant)
    Memory
    16 GB
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    Intel HD Graphics 4000, NVIDIA NVS 5200M
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    1366x768
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    Malwarebytes
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