It’s just about opening an email, without clicking any links from inside or without running any attachments, can this action infects our PC? I have always recommended to my readers to not run any attachment nor to click any link contained in an unsolicited email looking like a spam, to avoid PC infections with malware, but it seems that the subject must be treated more in-depth. I have read an article written by a german email security company named eleven which claims:
The complains I have read are basically about restricting the user’s ability to create beautiful emails and use of “smart art” in Outlook 2007 and 2010 with Word as HTML rendering engine. Well, to tell you the truth, all these complains, viewed in terms of emails security, make me smile.
The complains make me smile because there is a law: the safest emails are the plain-text emails.
No allowed embedded images that makes possible user’s tracking and encourages the spam, if a spammer send you an email containing a 1×1 pixel image and you view it, the spammer will know that somebody actually opened the email and read it and will send dozens of spam emails in return.
For Outlook security, Microsoft made a beneficial step switching from Internet Explorer HTML render engine to Microsoft Word, no very beautiful emails but more secure.
Keep safe !