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Whenever I open MS Word documents from my email, they open in "Protected View" with edit options disabled by default.

As per my understanding, the hyperlinks used in the main document would be linked with spyware.malware so enabling the edit option will lead to spread of malware. I have also heard about Macro virus which are capable of spreading while the file is opened

Are there any other reasons behind the protected view of Word files?

Thanks in advance

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I wonder how many people actually evaluate the contents of the file before clicking enable. I know I certainly don't. – Terry Chia May 27 '13 at 7:13
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Well macro's would allow you to automatically start running scripts on the machine once the document was opened. Hence they get opened in a protected mode to prevent code execution from happening automatically (the user needs to aprove it explicitly).

Also from the MS website:

Files from the Internet and from other potentially unsafe locations can contain viruses, worms, or other kinds of malware that can harm your computer. To help protect your computer, files from these potentially unsafe locations are opened in Protected View. By using Protected View, you can read a file and see its contents while reducing the risks.

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thanks for the info friend,i have mentioned the macros as an example ,what were the key benefits while opening the document with protected mode in security perspective ? – BlueBerry - Vignesh4303 May 27 '13 at 6:51
not executing code... – Lucas Kauffman May 27 '13 at 6:53

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