Spying on Outlook’s Return Receipt

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Key to Instructions

To help readers follow the instructions in this article, we use two different typefaces.

Boldface type is used to identify the names of icons, agendas and URLs.

Sans serif type indicates commands and instructions that users should type into the computer and the names of files.


Q. I work for a large organization, use Outlook and sometimes wonder whether people have requested automatic receipts when I open their e-mails as a way of checking up on me. Is there any way for me to find out whether I’m being monitored? Between e-mail and cookies, it’s easy to get paranoid about the Internet—wondering whether someone is checking your e-mails and tracking your surfing habits.

A. I sympathize with you. The Internet, and especially e-mail, is an open playground for snoops—however legal or illegal it is. The wisest course of action when using your employer’s Internet connection and e-mail system is not to post messages or surf Web sites that you wouldn’t want your mother to see.

In the meantime, there is a way to see if an e-mail sender is requesting a receipt. To set that up, open your Outlook Inbox and the View menu. Point to Toolbars , click on Advanced and then on the Advanced toolbar, click on Field Chooser.

When a drop-down menu appears, select All Mail fields.

Then scroll down until you see Receipt Requested , click on it and drag it onto the column heading in your Inbox .


When finished, close the Field Chooser box.

Now, whenever you receive a message that contains a receipt requested, you’ll be alerted by the note under the Receipt Requested column, as shown in the screen shot below.

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