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Which file extensions on e-mail attachments are safe?

I am looking for some information on e-mail attachment blocking. Specifically some generally accepted guidelines as to what file extensions should be blocked and which ones are OK.
An interesting way to think about this is to examine what attachments are considered unsafe in the default implementation of Internet Explorer 6. The list determines the attachments that cannot be opened by Outlook. It is considered to be the same thing as the Microsoft Office unsafe file list. In IE 6, you can turn this feature off, but you can also change the file list. To see the list look for Knowledge Base article 291369, Information about the unsafe file list in Internet Explorer 6. If you are using software on your mail server or other perimeter device, this list might be a good place to start. The list includes roughly 45 different file extensions. In case you are curious, Article 291387, Using virus protection features in Outlook Express 6 tells you how to modify the list.

This was first published in June 2003

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