Email Security


Email Attachments

E-mail Attachments
Many of the most common computer viruses and other malicious software are spread through e-mail attachments—the files that are sent along with an e-mail message. If a file attached to an e-mail message contains a virus, it's often launched when you open the file attachment (usually by double-clicking the attachment icon). You can help avoid some viruses by following a few basic rules.

Follow these basic guidelines when dealing with attachments in an e-mail message, no matter what e-mail program you're using:

1. Don't open any attachment unless you know whom it's from and you were expecting it.

2. If you receive an e-mail message with an attachment from someone you don't know, delete it immediately.

3. Use antivirus software and keep it updated.

4. If you need to send an e-mail attachment to someone, let them know you'll be sending it so they don't think it's a virus.

5. Use an e-mail program with spam filtering built-in or use online email which has spam filters.

When emailing a group of people use BCC (Blind Carbon Copy)


Using BCC protects your recipients' E-mail addresses from being spread to strangers.

Using BCC helps prevent SPAM (Unsolicited Commercial E-mail)

When using BCC, messages will be easier on your readers because they will be smaller, with fewer addresses on each message.

They will download faster and will use less bandwidth.

Using BCC shows your consideration of others by not publishing hundreds of your friends' addresses to strangers and potentially, SPAMMERS or maybe even stalkers.

Preview Pane

In Microsoft Outlook, there is a feature known as the "Preview Pane". This is an area of the screen where you can see the contents of an email as soon as you highlight the email by simply clicking once on it, and it is your worst enemy.

The Preview Pane option actually opens the email you click on immeidately, running whatever nasty scripts are contained within it!

This is VERY dangerous because many of today's email viruses will run when the email is opened without you double-clicking on an attachment or anything... it just runs when the email is opened!

Worse yet, remember that just because an email comes from someone you know, it doesn't mean it is virus-free! If a virus infects your system it will typically send itself to everyone in your address book, which means that all your friends get an email from you that contains the virus, and you never even know that the emails were sent on your behalf.

We cannot stress enough, the fact that many viruses can execute just by opening an email. You don't have to double-click on attachments to get infected by the new breed of email viruses/spywares. When in doubt, don't even open, just delete.

That's where turning off the preview pane comes in.
If the preview pane is on, every email you highlight is actually opened so that it can be displayed in the preview pane... which means that all scripts in the email are also run, potentially to your shagrin.

Turn off your Preview Pane now!

Disabling Preview Pane in Outlook

1. If you do not see your folder list along the left hand side of your Outlook window, click the "View" menu item and then the "Folder List" option. This is a toggle setting, which means that each time you do this you turn the folder list on or off.

2. If you can now see your folder list (which includes your "Deleted Items", "Drafts", "Inbox" and any folders you have created under the "Inbox") you are ready for the next step.

3. Click on the "Deleted Items" folder in the Folder List. If the Preview Pane (usually in the lower right quadrant of your screen) is visible, then click on the "View" menu option and then on the "Preview Pane" menu item. This also is a toggle setting. Clicking this repeatedly will turn the Preview Pane on and off.

4. Repeat step 3 for each folder in your Folder List. Do NOT do step 3 on the "Journal", "Note", "Outbox", and "Tasks" folders. Do all others below "Inbox", however. For each folder where a preview pane shows up, use the "View/Preview Pane" menu option to turn the Preview Pane off for those folders.

Now that your preview pane is disabled, this means that you will now need to double-click on an email to have it open up in its own window.

This is a very good thing, however, because it gives you the chance to decide whether you want to open the mail in the first place.

If any email is suspect (or just plain junk mail), all you have to do to delete it without ever opeinng it, is click once on the email to highlight it, then hit your "Del" key to delete it.

Install an Anti-Virus Program

If you suspect you have a virus on your computer, run a virus checker (with an updated virus database) immediately. If possible, try to notify people on your contact list. Many viruses perform the explicit purpose of harvesting email addresses from your computer, then spamming them in your name. Running a regular virus checker on your computer will keep you clean and protected, as well as keeping your contacts out of "harm".

More information on Spyware »

I Can Help With Your Security Needs

If you would rather have someone do it for you

I can help you secure your computer, laptop, wireless connection or network. Contact me and let me provide you with an affordable quote for these services. If your computer has symptoms of spyware, or you have been unsuccessful at removing it by yourself - stop wasting time and schedule an appointment.

More information on PC Repair Services »

Note: To keep spam to my inbox to a minimum I have chosen not to place an email contact on this website. To contact me for services you may call me using the phone number found above.