A program is trying to access my email addresses – why?
If you’ve seen this popup message:
Then you know the question. Why is Outlook telling you that someone is
accessing your contacts?
If you have to ask, then chances are the news isn’t good.
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Microsoft added this warning to Outlook in response to a series of
email-borne viruses that, once they infect, try to spread by sending email to
everyone to everyone in your address book. Now, when a program tries to that
Outlook asks if it’s okay before actually allowing that program to see your
There are legitimate cases where a program would want to access your address
book. For example my cell phone comes with software that allows me to
synchronize my address book with one kept on the phone. But the important point
is that I know it, and I know when it’s happening. If that message pops up at
some time when it’s not expected then it might be cause for concern.
The concern, of course, is that you might be infected with one of those
viruses. And you can guess my advice: update your virus scanner and scan right
And for what it’s worth, it’s a vicious circle: virus writers have found
ways around the protection afforded by this feature in Outlook, and Microsoft
has patched those vulnerabilities. The virus writers are probably busy at work
looking for a new way around those patches.
The moral is the same as my advice: regularly update your virus scanner and