In the latest update to Ask CyberGuru, Christine asks, “I have received some emails where I don’t recognise the sender, are these safe to open? I am concerned that if they are real and I don’t open them, I may miss out on important information but at the same time don’t want to be exposing my computer to a virus if they are not.”

We appreciate Christine’s concern in relation to such emails you have received and I am glad you have asked the question of us prior to doing taking any action!

Whilst you should be relatively safe to open the emails, it is good to take some caution, especially if you don’t recognise the name and the subject lines are unusual. However, looking at supplied sample, it is unlikely that the emails you have received are malicious, but more likely to be spam.

However, I would not allow Outlook to open any other special content (such as images), if it suggests this. Furthermore, like any such email if the identity is unknown, I would not recommend clicking on any links or opening any attachments (although I note these ones you mention don’t have such icons). Also, I would strongly suggest don’t share any personal information or respond to them in any way unless you can confirm their identity.

Generally, spam filtering within your internet service provider’s email system along with the protection provided by your email client as well as in your internet security software would usually prevent such email from arriving, but depending on your protection and security levels, along with changes in how spammers present the emails may result in some small amounts of spam to still get through.

If you have a question you would like to ask CyberGuru, or we can be any assistance in any way, please contact us.