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  1. #1
    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    Hide file extensions

    I'm going to give a talk about safe computing. One of the things I was going to advise was unchecking the box in Folder Options to hide file extensions for known file types. Now I was under the impression that if file extensions were hidden you could have an attachment to an email and be unable to see the file extension. However, experimenting with Outlook, I find that even if I choose the Windows option to hide the extensions I can see the file extensions for attachments in Outlook. This is obviously a Good Thing, but counter to what I thought the situation was, and I want to get the story right.

    What is the right information?

    Ian

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Hide file extensions

    Apparently Microsoft has changed the behavior in Outlook to make sure that people see the extension of attachments, regardless of the Explorer setting.

    It's still a good idea to turn off hiding known file types. Say that someone sends you a zip file that contains a file AnnaKournikova.jpg.vbs a VBScript file). You see the .zip extension, but if you open the zip file, it will look like AnnaKournikova.jpg if you hide known extensions (only the last extension is hidden), so unless you're alert and think "hey, I never see extensions, why the .jpg", you might think it's safe to open the file.

    Of course, one should always think twice before opening an attachment.

  3. #3
    Bronze Lounger IanWilson's Avatar
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    Re: Hide file extensions

    Yes I know that it's a good idea! But I didn't realise that MS had changed the behaviour in Outlook - Good for them! Presumably users of older versions would not benefit from that MS change of policy. Thanks for clearing it up for me. Quick as ever with the answer, Hans.

    Ian

  4. #4
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    Re: Hide file extensions

    I didn't know that Microsoft had changed this either, since one of the first things I do on any computer I work on is to turn off "Hide extensions of known applications". But your post prompted me to test it, and I found the same result as you. I cannot find information on when this was changed, but it must have been as a reaction to the e-mail viruses making the rounds some years ago.

  5. #5
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    Re: Hide file extensions

    Now we are on the subject of file extensions and outlook, I have found a great security add-in for Outlook XP via a colleague that allowed you to block specific file extensions (exe, bat, vbs and many more). If an email had one of your "banned" extensions the server would hold onto it and not send the attachment. The beauty of this useful gizmo is that it warned you that it was ent. I have had a couple of files sent to me recently and I was able to check with the person to ensure they were safe, temporarily switched off the security, the sever donloaded them, and then I switched on security again. Like Hans, I always show file extensions on any PC I work on, just to let me know what I am working on.
    Jerry

  6. #6
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    Re: Hide file extensions

    If folkes want to get a summary of the file types they have, see http://www.standards.com/index.html?...peDistribution.

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