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I cannot access web links embedded in emails

by colleenrichard / July 26, 2009 6:36 PM PDT

I run Vista Premuim and Microsoft Office Outlook Express.Most of my emails have web sites embedded in the email and when I click on the web link it comes up URL GENERAL FAILURE. It is extremely frustrating and I would appreciate any help.

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Actually a good thing
by Jimmy Greystone / July 26, 2009 11:45 PM PDT

This is actually a good thing, though it may not seem like it at first.

A common trick of "phishers" is to use boobytrapped email links that people will click on without thinking and then give out sensitive information. It's also a good way for spammers to validate an address, and see that an actual person is checking it, so they know to dump a ton of additional spam onto it.

Unless you have some specific need to use Outlook as your primary email client, you would be almost infinitely better off using virtually anything else. Outlook, and it's cousin Outlook Express (which was retired with XP) have long suffered from nasty security issues. And Microsoft's usual policy on fixing security issues is to simply sit on the information (assuming they know about it beforehand) until it's actively exploited by someone. A recent flaw in Internet Explorer that caused a lot of people a lot of grief, Microsoft knew about for over a YEAR and did nothing to fix. It's pretty routine for them to sit on information for 6+ months, only bothering to act when someone starts to actually exploit the flaw. Then there's naturally a gap between the time it's being exploited and Microsoft has a fix ready.

And finally, a minor thing, but important none the less. Full product names ARE important if you want to get help with a minimum of fuss. So, for example, it's Vista Home Premium. Saying Vista Premium is like going to an auto mechanic and saying you have a 2001 Honda. That's all well and good, but is it a Honda sedan, minivan, SUV? And saying Microsoft Office Outlook Express is kind of like saying you have a 2001 Honda Accord Civic. They're two completely different things.

Don't take that as any kind of insult directed at you, because it's not. I'm just trying to impress upon you that if you want to avoid a lot of back and forth trying to pin down exactly what program(s) are giving you problems, and get straight to fixing whatever's wrong, you should really make an effort to learn the proper names yourself. Just an FYI for the future.

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Is It MS Outlook ?
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / July 27, 2009 3:31 AM PDT
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