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    How To Scan Emails For Viruses

    How To Scan Emails For Viruses

    Most viruses and malware are propagated via email attachments. When a user clicks on an attachment, the malicious software autoruns and can install itself on their device. This can lead to numerous problems like identity theft, spam, PUPs, and ransomware. The danger escalates even further if such an attachment is sent through organizational emails. If gone unnoticed, this can cause severe damage to an entire organization’s privacy and data.

    So, how do you spot these emails? While some are auto-filtered by your email service provider, there are many of these emails that aren’t visible to the naked eye. To be safe, you’ll need to use an antivirus that has the ability to deep-scan email attachments for malware.

    Why Is Email Scanning A Must?

    Viruses can cause serious damage if they’re able to get into your device. Using email attachments is the most common technique that hackers rely on to do so. Most of these viruses are sent using files with .docx and .pdf extensions that often seem familiar and innocent - and this is where the danger mostly begins.

    It should be noted that Linux-based computers are at much lower risk of getting infected with viruses overall. Therefore, when using Linux, you probably don’t need to scan emails. On the other hand, Windows PCs are prone to virus attacks through emails, so it is important to scan every incoming and outgoing email. You must rely on reputable antivirus solutions that allow deep-scanning of emails and block any suspicious threats immediately.

    The Steps

    Irrespective of the email app you use, it is important for you to scan emails. Here are three ways to ensure that every email you receive or send is checked for threats:

    Step 1

    First of all, locate the email containing the attachment that you wish to open. It’s a good idea to check for the paperclip icon next to the message’s subject line.

    Step 2

    Next, click on the attachment within the email application that you’re using on your device. Use the “Save” button to download the attachment on your device. Note that the “Save” button’s location will vary based on the email app you’re using.

    Step 3

    Once you click on “Save”, you’ll see a notification from the installed antivirus software in your email system’s context menu. If you don’t use a third-party app, use Microsoft Security Essentials to scan the file. Based on the results, the file will either be automatically moved to quarantine or deleted permanently from your device.

    The Best Software For Email Scanning

    Other than Windows Defender, here are some well known systems for scanning emails:

    • Norton - This antivirus application scans both inbound and outbound emails. Also, it creates an anti-spam folder, where the junk mails are directly sent.
    • Comodo - This antivirus software offers amazing products for maintaining email security on desktop devices. It has a free anti-spam gateway and cloud-based spam blocking filter that stops phishing attacks as well. The scanning engine ensures that all malicious attachments are blocked on IMAP and SMTP servers. Also, this is the only email security system that supports Linux.
    • AVG - This antivirus software has an inbuilt feature for checking every third-party email for attachments with viruses. It also scans encrypted messages and blocks threats in real time. The antivirus has the ability to run signature-based detection on both incoming and outgoing mails.
    • Bitdefender - This cyber protection application has a special role in scanning malicious emails and viruses in attachments. It has a scanning mode with a real-time protection mechanism. This system blocks viruses with suspicious behavior almost immediately, and keeps both incoming and outgoing mails secure.
    • Real-time malware protection
    • Around-the-clock support
    • Strong privacy protection
    • Safe web browsing
    • Multi-layered malware protection
    • Fast system scans
    • Secure web browsing
    • Enhanced security suite and advanced features
    • Best free antivirus
    • Endpoint and mobile protection
    • Cloud antivirus
    • Firewall Security and VPN
    • Multi-device protection
    • Easy-to-access features
    • Advanced Malware protection

    Don't Forget Outbound Scanning

    The problem of viruses isn’t just limited to incoming mails. Even outbound emails can act as carriers of viruses and malware. Moreover, cybercriminals can at times gain access to private and corporate email accounts and use them to send huge volumes of spam emails. If this happens, it can be detrimental for the organization’s or individual’s reputation or business. Users on the receiving end will probably blacklist your email domain, or their service providers will. 

    From that point, all outgoing mails from your domain will be automatically routed to spam folders. 

    Bottom Line

    To sum up, scanning all incoming and outgoing emails is a must, regardless of the email service provider you use. Make sure to turn on all of the security features provided by your device’s OS and use an antivirus solution that allows real-time scanning and deletion of suspicious emails for an added layer of security. Following these steps, you will be able to keep your data, business and reputation intact.