What You Need to Know About Email Attachments

infected-computer

It’s happened to many of us. We get an email that has a catchy subject line. Maybe it’s a special offer or maybe it’s telling you that you won something. Either way, you not only opened the email, you also opened the attachment. The next thing you know, your computer slows to a crawl. You can’t click on anything. You’ve been infected with a virus.

Okay, so maybe it’s not quite as dramatic as that all the time. The point is, when you open a file extension like a .zip, .exe, or .png from a spam email you could be opening a file that is corrupted. It’s important to understand that your computer’s security measures won’t catch every spam email or even corrupted files, which means you could end up opening a virus without even knowing it.

Be Confident
Before you open any attachment that comes to your inbox, you need to have 100% confidence that the attachment isn’t corrupted. Even if you have anti-virus software on your computer, a corrupted file in an email can make it past your security measures, which means that file may not be what you think it is. If you aren’t 100% sure about what you are opening, then don’t open it. If the email is from a known and trusted source, but you don’t know anything about the attachment or are unsure of what it is, call or email the person to learn more about it before you open the file.

Scan Individual Files
Opening up an attachment from an unknown source, you could be putting your computer and your critical data at risk. By scanning the file you received through email with your antivirus software can help you avoid spyware and viruses. Be sure you follow the directions your antivirus software gives you regarding the file. It may tell you that the file is corrupted. If that is the case, then you need to delete it and make sure you don’t open it.

Avoid Untrusted Sources
In simple terms, if you do happen to receive an email from someone you don’t know and it contains an attachment, don’t open the file. There is a chance the attachment contains a virus. If you think the file is important and you need to review it, then be sure you scan the file for any virus or corruption. Caution is important when it comes to opening and reviewing email attachments, so if you don’t recognize the source, then don’t open the attachment.

Other Helpful Email Tips
Here are a few best practice tips for emails:

  • Don’t give out your personal information like passwords, bank account numbers, or social security numbers.
  • Be mindful of giving out your email address to vendors and only subscribe to trusted sources
  • Don’t click on links in emails unless you trust the source
  • Always use antivirus software to check for viruses and spyware that may be embedded in the email or attachment

If you have any concerns or questions about email attachments or corrupted files, give Diverse Tech Services a call at 317-524-5700 and we can answer your questions and help solve your computer virus issues.