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Attachments to E-mails

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P Mills
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Post Posted December 16th, 2003, 1:39 am

How do you get Mozilla Thunderbird to show whether an e-mail has attachments before you open it? Is there a risk of viruses if you open an e-mail and then find it has an attachment?

Thanks for your comments.

tanstaafl
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Post Posted December 16th, 2003, 3:43 am

You can select a attachment column in the right pane. This will show a paperclip if there are attachments.

There is a risk of various nasty critters when opening attachments or viewing a HTML message. You're safer using thunderbird than outlook express, but you're still vulnerable. Some things you can do are:

1. Set view->message body as plain text.

2. Uncheck view->display attachments inline.

3. Set tools->options->privacy->"block loading of remote images" in mail messages. While this is a privacy feature, it may help avoid problems due to somebody deliberately using the wrong MIME type.

4. Specify firebird, mozilla or opera as your default browser for thunderbird.

5. If you installed windows script host (WSH) use a program like "script defender" to intercept any request to execute the most common scripting types used in virus attacks. Or use tools->options->file attachments to specify a safe handler for dangerous file extensions (i.e. have notepad be associated with the script file extensions).

6. Have a anti-virus program scan your profile before you open any attachments.

7. Don't use the preview pane if your're going to set view->message bodies to simple html or original html.

I do 1 - 4. Realisticly, disabling html and using good judgement on what attachments to open is what really counts.

R4F

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Post Posted December 16th, 2003, 4:06 am

The problem is that the attachments icons (either in the column or an icon-state) aren't shown until you open the message. With the preview pane off, new message selected, you can't see if the e-mail has an attachment or not. You have to have the preview pane on or double click the message to see any paperclip.
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tanstaafl
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Post Posted December 16th, 2003, 4:51 am

I hadn't noticed the lack of a paperclip before you mentioned it. However, I'm using 0.4 (20031209) and the envelope icon has a red tab if there is an attachment. I can see this without ever selecting the message (so whether I have a preview pane is irrelevant) on an unread message.

Sounds like this is version dependent feature.

Walter, guest
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Post Posted December 16th, 2003, 9:33 am

The red tab is always there. You can look for that by sending the two different mails to yourself.

R4F

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Post Posted December 16th, 2003, 3:18 pm

I'm running 0.4 as well and on my machine the behaviour is as I described in my previous post. Are you sure you can see that there is an attachment upon arrival?
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Walter, guest
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Post Posted December 16th, 2003, 4:15 pm

R4F, you are right.
As I wrote, you have a red tab whether there is an attachment or not.
You definitly can't see it before reading.
But with Fb it isn't such a matter of security as with Outlook.
And if you want to know if there is a big attachment before downloading, you only have to look for Size in an IMAP account.
And in a POP account you may use a filter rule with Content-type multipart/mixed to get a mail with attachment into a special folder.

Kylotan
 
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Post Posted December 20th, 2003, 9:02 pm

This is especially a problem when you import mail from Outlook Express because it is not all marked correctly as having attachments. This makes searching through them for specific mails more difficult. I don't see why Thunderbird can't check for multipart/mixed when it first imports or downloads the mail, instead of waiting for you to open it.

Walter, guest
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Post Posted December 21st, 2003, 2:53 am

It seems to be the decision of the developer, that we don't need.
But you can use filter rules as I posted above, to sort your Outlook mails in Thunderbird.

Kylotan
 
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Post Posted December 21st, 2003, 5:39 am

Which is no use to most people. I don't want to have double the number of folders just so that I can find attachments easily, when it should just highlight it in the column properly in the first place.

eludlow
 
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Post Posted December 30th, 2003, 5:22 am

I'm new to Thunderbird, and all of the above is a bug that I am finding particularly annoying, and could well make me decide to go back to using Outlook :(

Was there ever a way around this found, so that you will know if an email has an attachment without clicking on it, or opening it?

Many thanks,
Ed Ludlow

Kylotan
 
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Post Posted December 31st, 2003, 10:22 am

I finally gave up and created a workaround today, which is tedious. Basically I created the Content-Type: multipart/mixed custom filter in the View dropdown box so I could see all the emails with attachments. Then I clicked on each email in turn to get Thunderbird to give it the paperclip. I had to do this for each folder.

eludlow
 
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Post Posted January 1st, 2004, 7:16 am

But that still doesn't solve the problem of not knowing which emails have attachments as soon as you recieve them, does it? :(

Ed

eludlow
 
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Post Posted January 1st, 2004, 7:51 am

Just solved it....almost - kylotan gave me an idea.

I created a view filter virtually identical to kylotan's. It will only display UNREAD emails, with Content-Type: multipart/mixed in the headers. Won't necessarily show the paperclip unless you click the emails, but it does nicely show which have attachments.

Ed

Walter, guest
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Post Posted January 1st, 2004, 9:08 am

*Flag the message* as filter action works also very well.

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