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Make Those Pesky Outlook Security Warnings Disappear (Carefully!) Using Express ClickYes - Part 1

by David Horowitz
Skill rating level 5.

Do you get this annoying message when you’re launching your email merge, address book search or email notification program, or when using a PDA synchronization tool?

Figure 1 - A program is trying to access e-mail addresses you have stored in Outlook

Figure 1 – A program is trying to access e-mail addresses you have stored in Outlook

Or this one when you’re trying to send a catalog to your customers using your bulk emailing software?

Figure 2 - A program is trying to automatically send e-mail on your behalf

Figure 2 – A program is trying to automatically send e-mail on your behalf

Don’t panic. These are the effect of Outlook security features introduced in Outlook 2000 (SR2 and above), and installed by default in Outlook 2002 and Outlook 2003. These new features help guard against most viruses that are spread by email attachments, as well as protect users from worm viruses that replicate through Outlook. However, these additional security features can be somewhat annoying, especially if you’re using third–party software that sends email using Outlook or that makes use of your Outlook Address Book.

A Solution

A wonderful solution to these problems is the use of a freeware utility called Express ClickYes by ContextMagic. Express ClickYes sits in the background on your computer (with an icon in the system tray) waiting for one of those Outlook security prompts to pop up, and if they do, Express ClickYes “clicks yes” to the prompt, indicating that you DO want to allow the requested access to Outlook.

A Warning

Please use caution. This product expressly defeats several security features of Outlook, and therefore could be dangerous. However, you can turn Express ClickYes on and off as needed, which may be a better solution than leaving it on all the time. This product, when used wisely, can save you the hassle of clicking yes to those pesky security prompts, since Express ClickYes will do it for you.

For example, if you’re about to synchronize your Palm address book with Outlook, and you usually get the security warning, you can enable Express ClickYes (called Resuming it) just before running the sync, and then disable it once again (called Suspending it) just after the sync is complete. That way, you’re only vulnerable during that brief period of time. Of course, if you’re going to bother doing that, you might wonder why not just let the Outlook security warning come up and then click Yes. It’s fewer steps, after all. There is certainly truth to that. However, I’ve found that since I can program Express ClickYes to Resume and then Re-Suspend when certain actions are taken, then it does bring me back down to a single click. I’ll discuss programming Express ClickYes in more detail next month.

Suspending or Resuming Express ClickYes

You can toggle the Express ClickYes state between Suspended and Resumed by double-clicking the Express ClickYes icon in the system tray. Alternatively, you can right-click on the icon and select the first menu option, either Suspend or Resume, as appropriate. If Express ClickYes is Resumed, that means it’s active and will “click yes” for you. Your Outlook Security features are therefore disabled, so be aware. If Express ClickYes is Suspended, Outlook is functioning normally, with the Security protection.

How to Tell if Express ClickYes is Suspended or Resumed

When you look at the system tray icon, you will see one of two icons. The normal one with a checkmark means that Express ClickYes is running and enabled (also known as Resumed). If the icon has a big red X in the bottom–right corner, then Express ClickYes is Suspended (meaning Outlook’s security features are left to run unfettered).

Here is the Resumed icon:

Figure 3 - Express ClickYes System Tray Icon in Resumed Mode

Figure 3 – Express ClickYes System Tray Icon in Resumed Mode

And here is the Suspended icon:

Figure 4 - Express ClickYes System Tray Icon in Suspended Mode Showing Red X

Figure 4 – Express ClickYes System Tray Icon in Suspended Mode Showing Red X

Other Express ClickYes Menu Options

When you right-click on the Express ClickYes system tray icon, you see the following menu:

Figure 5 - Express ClickYes System Tray Context Menu (currently in Resumed mode)

Figure 5 – Express ClickYes System Tray Context Menu (currently in Resumed mode)

  • Start on Logon: This option when checked tells Express ClickYes to run automatically when you logon to Windows. Express ClickYes will start either Suspended or Resumed depending on the setting of the following menu option.

  • Start Suspended: This option when checked tells Express ClickYes to start in Suspended mode whenever Express ClickYes is first loaded. It is safest to have this option checked, meaning that you do want Express ClickYes to start in Suspended mode. Then you can Resume Express ClickYes at your discretion as needed.

  • About…: This option gives you a little About box. Surprised?

  • Exit: This option exits Express ClickYes, which leaves your Outlook functioning the way it was, with regular security features operating. If the Start on Logon option is checked, then Express ClickYes will be loaded once again the next time you logon to Windows, so be sure to have the Start Suspended option checked so you don’t inadvertently leave Outlook open to attacks.

Where to Get Express ClickYes and Learn More About It

Express ClickYes is a freeware utility created by ContextMagic and available for free download from the ContextMagic web site. I’ve found the product to be extremely useful. I want to stress again the danger of leaving Express ClickYes running all the time, in that it leaves you open to viruses and worms. However, if you only enable Express ClickYes for short periods of time to perform specific tasks, your risk will be minimized.

Express ClickYes one-step download link
http://www.contextmagic.com/ftp/ClickYesSetup.exe

Express ClickYes info page
http://www.contextmagic.com/express–clickyes

ContextMagic free downloads page
http://www.contextmagic.com/downloads.htm

ContextMagic web site
Where you can learn more about ContextMagic’s other programs, including Express Mail@Mate, the award–winning email notification program for Outlook and Outlook Express. Be sure to keep an eye out for Express ClickYes Professional, due to be released soon, which promises more advanced features.
http://www.contextmagic.com

Next Month – Programming Express ClickYes

When coding Outlook VBA to do things such as custom spam filtering or email attachment reminding, you may find you trip the Outlook security warning. In such a case, you may find it helpful to programmatically Resume and Suspend Express ClickYes in your VBA code. I’ll describe how to do that in next month’s article.

More Info from Microsoft About the Outlook Security Update

Here are some links to Microsoft’s web site about the Outlook Security Update:

"A program is trying to access e-mail addresses you have stored in Outlook" warning message when you send a mail merge to e-mail after you apply the Outlook Security Update
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/263073

OL2000: Information About the Outlook E-mail Security Update
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/262631

Outlook E-mail Attachment Security Update
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/235309

A program is trying to access e-mail addresses you have stored in Outlook
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/assistance/HA011127891033.aspx

Thanks

Thanks to Leonid Dmitriev of ContextMagic for providing additional information about Express ClickYes. And thanks, as always, to our illustrious editor Dian Chapman of MouseTrax Computing Solutions for her ongoing support and efforts.

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