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Did you notice some weird string of characters added to all your emails in your inbox? The URL may look suspicious with these characters, but they are actually added by Microsoft. The string includes text before the original URL and it looks something like this-.
You will only be able to see this if Microsoft has activated the feature for your account. Some users may not get it right away depending on their subscription or region.
The Outlook.com service scans each link you click in your emails, and if the destination website contains suspicious content, you will be redirected to a warning page. We recommend that you do not proceed to any sites that trigger the warning page. As part of this change, the links in some emails you receive will look different. The links will contain additional information related to the security checks that were performed. Over the coming months, new Outlook.com updates will improve the appearance of these links while still keeping you protected.
This is nothing suspicious or worrisome. There is no problem with your email client or the web app. This is a new feature of Office 365 subscription and Outlook.com accounts which aim to make your email accounts more secure.
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This feature, termed “Safe Links,” is available for Microsoft accounts, which include Outlook.com, Hotmail.com, MSN.com, and Live.com.
The “Safe Links” feature is designed to help protect you from malware and spam by checking for phishing links in your email. This feature is part of Microsoft’s “Advanced Threat Protection” initiative, which is designed to provide additional security for your email. So relax, this is just a security measure that Microsoft has put in place to help keep your email safe.
Does this Safe Link feature create any problems?
No, the Safe Links feature will not cause any problems for you. Yes, the URLs might look weird, long, and ugly, but that is for the better security of your Outlook inbox.
In Outlook, if you click on a link and a warning message pops up that says “We’ve detected an unsafe link,” you can choose to either return to Outlook or continue anyway.
The feature, however, won’t cause you any issues or trouble, and Microsoft doesn’t recommend deactivating this feature. Some users still might want to disable it because of the ugly, longer, and unidentifiable URLs.
Still, if you want to disable or deactivate this feature, you have to contact Outlook.com support for the same. The feature cannot be disabled on your own and there is a particular official procedure to disable this feature that only the support team can perform.
The support system can deactivate this feature from your Microsoft account if you follow these steps.
Click on the Outlook.com help icon in the top-right corner of your page to be directed to the Outlook.com Help page.
This will open a message box where you can type your request to disable the Safe Links feature for the required email aliases.
Please disable Safe Links for the following email aliases;[alias_1], [alias_2]…
You can add various email addresses by using a comma.
When you are finished with your message, click the Get Help button and we will take care of it.