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Rajiv Singha

Got an Email Attachment? Pause, Think and Inquire

July 5, 2013
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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

An email attachment is but the Pandora’s Box of the online world. You never know what might pop out of it! In this post, we have discussed the dangers email attachments entail, and some safety tips on how to tackle the same.

The Biggest Risk of Email Attachments
Inarguably, one of the major risks that email attachments carry is malware infection. Viruses, trojans, worms, spyware, adware, rootkits; you name it! Malicious email attachments feed on human curiosity. You receive an email from your favorite outlet talking about discounts and amazing offers. But, to avail the offers you have to open an attachment in the mail. You pause, furrow your eyebrows, and become suspicious. But hey, what about the discounts? So, you pretend as if you are being careful, cross your fingers, and click the attachment anyway. The next thing you might be doing is calling up various people because your computer just stopped working, or may be your bank account just drained! Scary scenario, isn’t it?

Playing Safe with Email Attachments

– Remember what mommy used to tell us about not taking sweets from strangers? Well, do not limit that advice only to sweets. Any email, with or without attachments, from someone you do not know, must be treated with great caution. To make things easier, simply delete it. Same goes with out of the blue or unexpected attachments, especially those talking about awards, discounts, etc.

– What about email attachments sent by people you know? Malware authors have gone to great lengths to ensure that people fall into their boobytrap. So, what may look like an email sent by your favorite doofus neighbor Toby, could be actually sent by a hacker. In short, stranger or friend, furrowed eyebrows for every email!

– If it is Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express that you are using as your email service, then avoid using the preview pane whenever there is an attachment in the email. There are malware that can infect your system, even if an attachment is read in the preview pane.

– Use reliable security software and ensure that it has all the latest updates. When you download any attachment, your security software will scan it automatically. However, go to the folder where the file has been downloaded, and run a manual scan before opening it.

– Pay heed to your instincts. If you smell something fishy about the attachment you have received, then probably you smell right. If you feel you should inquire about the email with the sender themself, then please do it [call, text, or even better, meet!]. That is probably the best precaution you can take instead of putting your computer at risk of a malware attack.

– Be up-to-date about the security patches released by Windows or Mac, and understand what are critical to keep your system protected.

What Quick Heal has to Offer?
Quick Heal security solutions stand guard between your system and malware, no matter in whatever form they are. The cloud-based email security feature of Quick Heal blocks entry of not only infected emails into your inbox, but phishing and spam mails, as well.

Keeping your system updated with the latest security patches and its security software, with the latest virus definition files, is an ongoing process. New and sophisticated strains of malware are discovered every day and that too in astonishing numbers. So, it is a joint effort by the user and the security firm they have employed to reduce and nullify the risks of malware attack.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Rajiv Singha
About Rajiv Singha
Rajiv is an IT security news junkie and a computer security blogger at Quick Heal. He is passionate about promoting cybersecurity awareness, content and digital...
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3 Comments

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  1. Hrushi SonarJuly 6, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Thank you Rajib sir for this gr8 information.
    Really know a days some times we received unwanted mail with unwanted attachment.

    But cause of Quick Heal we r secured.

    Regards,
    Hrushi Sonar.

    Reply
  2. Thank U for this useful info.. 🙂

    Reply
  3. GR8 WORK…<)

    Reply