Because it downloads a picture from a server, this message may identify your Inbox as a working destination — an effective place to send more spam. Outlook automatically blocks such pictures but lets you decide whether you want to download and so give information to the sender.
Have you ever received an e-mail newsletter or catalog that contained a red X like the one in the picture? Organizations often link pictures kept on their own computers to newsletters or ads in e-mail. And that can be a good idea, because that way pictures can be updated and changed in the computer where they're kept. However, to help protect your privacy, Outlook purposely blocks certain types of pictures.
Pictures are blocked only if they're downloaded to your computer from the sender's computer, or "linked." Downloading pictures in e-mail is similar to browsing Web pages on the Internet, because your computer sends a request to the originating server, telling junk senders that your e-mail address is valid.
When most people send e-mail with pictures, the pictures are attached directly to the message or included inline in the text of the message (more on this in the next lesson of the course). That type of picture isn't linked from the sender's computer, it travels with the e-mail message, and so it doesn't tell the sender that you opened the message. Pictures that you attach to a message, or that your friend pastes into a message and sends to you, would not be blocked by this feature of Outlook.
Tip You may receive catalogs or newsletters in e-mail because you've subscribed to them. If that's the case, you probably want to see the pictures associated with those catalogs or newsletters. You'll be glad to know that you can choose to always download pictures from those senders, automatically. You would do this by adding the sender's e-mail address to your Safe Senders list. For specific training about that, see Audio course: Slice the spam! How Outlook helps protect you from junk e-mail.