Overly cautious Outlook is behind e-mail trouble

THE BALTIMORE SUN

I use Hotmail for all of my e-mail, and a few weeks ago I started having this problem when I downloaded an attachment from an e-mail. It would always download the attachment before, but now Outlook Express 6 comes on and tells me "OE removed access to the following unsafe attachment in your mail."

I receive this message for all my attachments. I never use Outlook Express, so I don't know how this happened. Can you tell me how to turn this program off so I can download attachments?

One of the great features of Microsoft's Hotmail, a Web-based e-mail service, is that users can configure the seriously businesslike Outlook and Outlook Express programs to handle messages instead of accessing them on the Hotmail .com site.

This makes handling e-mail far easier than working on the Web, where you must wait for the screen to refresh every time you take an action.

Though you don't use this feature, it is available on your machine, and your attachment problem comes because the Security settings in Outlook Express on your machine have been cranked all the way up to liquefy, I fear.

The fix is simple. Click on Tools in Outlook Express, select Options and click the Security tab.

There will be a check box that permits Outlook users to prohibit opening potentially virus-laden attachments. One click there to allow opening attachments and you'll be back in business.

The Chicago Tribune is a Tribune Publishing newspaper. Contact James Coates at jcoates@tribune.com.

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