The Security and Maintenance of Messages in Outlook Express
With the excessive use of e-mail and e-commerce, the amount of confidential
information being exchanged over the Internet has been growing at a rapid pace.
As a result, the need to ensure the integrity, security, and privacy of e-mail
messages is becoming an essential part of the corporate world. As the use of
ActiveX controls, scripts and Java applets, and other special features in the
messages is increasing day by day, there is an increased chance that such
messages could access or modify files on the user's computer without his knowledge.
Outlook Express includes several tools that protect the unauthorized users from
accessing the electronic data, thereby increasing the privacy and integrity of
the e-mail messages. The tools provided by Outlook Express allow a user to send
and receive secure e-mail more securely and control the potentially unsafe e-mail
messages through security zones.
Outlook Express allows a user to read and send e-mail messages, sort and store
messages on the local drive or e-mail server, create and edit contacts in the
Address Book, and many more.
Some of the important features of Outlook Express are described below as follows:
Security zones are an effective way of securing the Internet. Security zones
provide advanced protection for a user's computer and his privacy. The Security
zones feature allows a user to control whether scripts and active content can be
downloaded and run in messages received. It is a system that allows a user or a
system administrator to divide the websites into different groups depending upon
the Web content a browser can visit. This Web content may be an HTML file, a
graphic file, an ActiveX control, a Java applet, or an executable file.
There are four security zones in Internet Explorer: Intranet, Local Intranet,
Trusted Sites, and Restricted Sites. Each of the four zones has four default
security levels: High, Medium, Medium-Low, and Low. These security levels
determine the type of content that can be downloaded and run.
A user or an administrator can customize the settings for any of the security
zones. Outlook Express enables a user or an administrator to choose which zone
his incoming e-mail is in: either the Internet zone or the Restricted Sites zone.
A Digital ID, also called a certificate, verifies the identity of a person who
has sent the messages over the Internet. A Digital ID allows a user or
administrator to sign his e-mail, so that the intended recipients can be assured
that the message has actually come from the specified person and has not been
manipulated in any way.