I use Netscape 4.7. (I just do, okay?) When I single-click an e-mail, it opens in the lower frame of the window. Most of my mail is spam, so it doesn’t need to be opened – just deleted. But since it opens automatically I don’t have a choice. (I do CNTL+click the other spam, which cancels the load and I can delete them all at once.)
A lot of the spam seems to contain HTML – images, formatting, and what-not. By opening an e-mail, is there any chance that it could send a message/signal/cookie back saying that I’ve opened it? (My browser has a dialog box that asks if I want to send a receipt if one is requested. I always click “no” even if it is from someone I know.) Is there any chance that the HTML could call a page that somehow loads a virus?
A while ago, I would have though the answer is “No. You can’t get a virus unless you open an infected attachment.” But with viruses becoming more and more insidious, I’m not so sure. So to recapitulate:
Can I now get a virus simply by reading an e-mail?
Can an e-mail that uses fancy HTML “call” a virus that someone has stored on a webpage?
Can an e-mail tell a spammer that my address is good, just by my browser automatically opening the mail when I click on it to delete it?