Due to the success of Protected Mode in Internet Explorer, which can protect the computer and the browser from running unsafe programs, Microsoft has added a similar feature in Office 2010, called Protected View.
Protected View helps by protecting files and the computer from becoming infected or being used by malicious codes to infect or spread malware. Any files that Office 2010 will open or run will automatically run in Protected View, if it was determine as unsafe or downloaded from unsafe and untrusted locations or sources. As we know, email messages may contain unsafe attachments, and if you opened an Office file attachment from the email message, you will notice a message bar that explains what or why Microsoft Office has identified a potential security concern.
Examples of reasons why an Office file is opened in Protected View are as follows:
- The file was opened from an Internet location.
- The file was received as an Outlook 2010 attachment and your computer policy has defined the sender as unsafe.
- The file was opened from an unsafe location.
- The file is blocked by File Block.
- File validation failure.
If an Office document is something you have to read, edit, save or print, you can exit Protected View mode. However, exiting Protected View means you are instructing the program to trust the document, so be very careful in allowing any marked as unsafe before deciding to open any file.