Tiny bit of background - some 50 computers in the company I work at.. our "IT Manager" (ITM) is named so because when they needed one, he was the only guy who didnt run screaming when an error box pops up in windows.. an ok coder he may be.. but he's mostly clueless otherwise.
We have a contractor that the ITM calls when any server/network issues pop up.. and then me, who takes care of the general "my computers doing something weird" requests on top of my other tasks within the place..
ITM had recently made some changes that would result in our local systems dealing with the "maybe" spam emails rather than our ISP stopping everything.. therefore our users were getting some in their inboxes etc..
During our conversation he asked, horrified, "Well, you don't actually OPEN any of something you think -might- be spam, do you?!" .. "the contractor told me the other day the spammers can tell if you even open the email!"
I pointed out that unless there are images (or even a pixel) keyed to my address in an HTML email, then there wasnt really any way for a spammer to know I'd opened it... unless I were stupid enough to click on a link. As I typically have image loading turned off, or force viewing in Plain Text its not an issue.
Figuring how quickly things can change, I figured I may as well confirm my beliefs with more experienced people before I decide to scrap it out with him some. Im sure viewing in Plain Text is safe, and with image loading turned off in Outlook, its pretty much a dead end for address confirmation for the spammer, correct?