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Section 3: Protection from Viruses


Section 1
Protection from
Junk Mail

Section 2
Protecting Others
from Junk Mail

Section 3
from Viruses

Don't Open
E-mail Attachments

Invest in an
Anti-Virus Program

  Do Not Open email Attachments...
I Repeat: Don't Open email Attachments!

When can you tell if a virus is attached to your email? Although the following email virus characteristics are not all inclusive, they represent a majority of them.

A duplicate email with an attachment. If you receive two emails from the same person with the same subject and only one has an attachment, delete the email with the attachment. Do not even open it. As a courtesy, send the person a new email (do not click reply) explaining what you received because chances are, they do not know they are sending viruses to others. Click here to see a sample letter to friends who send attachments.

For any message with an attachment my policy is this, "If in doubt, throw it out." Do not rely on the fact that a friend sent you the email since most people do NOT know they are sending a virus, including your friends. Here's why. Many viruses will use your address book and send itself out to others in your address book without your knowledge. You can always send an email to the original person asking if they meant to send you an attachment.

Typically, a virus attachment will have an EXE or BAT extension, such as HAPP99.EXE or PARK.EXE (notice the endings are EXE). However, Microsoft Word documents that end in DOC, JPGs or pictures, ZIP files, and others have been know to carry bugs. too. When you have deleted the email EMPTY the deleted folder for protection.

To check if you have a certain type of email virus, send yourself an email. For instance, compose the email as normal and just put your email address in the TO: box, and click send. Does it come with an attachment? If so, clean your computer. Be sure to read the next section for choosing the right anti-virus program.

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