Precautions when opening attachments

Last Updated on November 22, 2018



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Receiving attachments is common these days, so it is essential that you learn to handle them carefully, as they are often used as a vector to transfer a malware payload to your computer. Let’s take a look at some of the precautions you should take when opening e-mail attachments.

Typical cases of unsolicited email with malicious attachments are generally of this type:

  1. You have won a reward or lottery and must complete the attached form.
  2. Your order has been cancelled or you have received a new order
  3. Email that talks about certain invoices
  4. Work from home and earn money
  5. Pain relief or weight loss programs
  6. Letter from a bank, PayPal, etc. asking you to enter the data according to the attachment, otherwise the account will be blocked, etc…..

If you use good antivirus software or Internet Security Suite, the malicious file can be automatically quarantined when it is downloaded to your computer. Using an email client like Outlook is even better for you.

Today, most email service providers like Outlook or Gmail have good filters that automatically move these emails to the spam folder – especially those that have.exe folders or folders compressed with exe files.

Nevertheless, you must always be vigilant!

Precautions when opening attachments



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First of all, never click on an attachment that you did not expect.

Then check the sender’s e-mail ID. Is this from someone you know?

But even if the email ID looks familiar, email spoofing and other hacking makes it very easy to send emails with someone else’s email ID.

If your service or software allows it, set your email settings so that attachments are not automatically downloaded or opened. This is usually the default setting – but it never hurts to be safe. Make sure you configure Attachment Manager correctly in Windows.

Move the mouse pointer over the attachment. Is it an.exe file? In this case, do not download it. Is it an Office.doc file? Do not click on it again, as it could be a macro virus. What if he has another file extension? Even if this is the case, you should take sufficient precautions because malware authors can easily hide a virus, Trojan horse or ransom file with any file extension.

If you cannot control your curiosity at all and want to view the email attachment, select Download instead of Open. Once the file is downloaded to your computer, right-click and scan it with your antivirus software.

If you want to be sure, download it and scan it with one of these free online antivirus software.

Remember that if the file you download is found to be malicious, it could infect your files and even delete or lock your data if it is a ransom file. You must therefore make sure that the file you downloaded before opening it.

My rule? If in doubt, no. Period.

Do you have any other ideas? Share the precautions you take.



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