Security concerns, specifically about the Outlook preview pane, go back several years to when Outlook was first introduced. Since then security layers have been integrated into Outlook to allow both viewing messages in the preview pane and opening the actual message to be as secure (and often more so) as other email clients. Whether using Auto Preview, the Reading Pane or opening the message full screen, steps are taken within the Outlook program itself to ensure a high level of security. See How Outlook helps protect your computer from viruses for details.
As with any email client, it is still important in Outlook to avoid opening attachments from people you don't trust or are not expecting an attachment from. Fortunately, Outlook 2003 filters many attachments that might be deemed harmful and limits the html/scripting within messages (Note: All HTML-based messages are treated as if they are in a restricted zone). It is also important to run anti-virus software on your desktop computer and to patch your software/OS regardless of your e-mail client (or OS).Posted by dcoates at September 19, 2005 09:36 AM