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Email Attachment Viruses

If you have had an email address for any extended period of time, you have probably encountered spam emails. Also depending on how long you’ve had an email address, you may have already realized that these emails can be far more than just harmless annoyances. While email addresses are great targets for spam messages, they are also great targets for virus ridden files.

The common way of spreading viruses through email is through infected attachments. Infected attachments can do anything from installing some nice new toolbars and popups for your favorite browser to deleting your system’s files. Virus infected attachments are typically either executable programs, or macro viruses, which are viruses embedded in software applications such as Microsoft Word.

hands of a man looking inbox in tablet with a virus message / man with tablet which see emails and alert message with the word virus

Executable files are the more common of the two types of virus attachments. These infected files can come in file types such as: .exe, .vbs, .com, .zip, and many, many more. If you are asked to download or run any files by suspicious emails consider the pros and cons of not downloading or running the file.

Malicious emails can also give you viruses by getting you to click a URL link to a website. Once on the website, you may be graciously given an executable file virus via forced download. The best way to deal with this method of virus transportation is to simply not click any links you get from suspicious email addresses, but in the event you do happen to click on such a link, you’ll want to have a firewall up and an antivirus program running.

Currently, executable programs are far more likely to be an issue when compared to macro viruses due to Microsoft updates and patches to their programs. Some antivirus programs can even recognize and counter attack threats coded into Microsoft Office programs, but just because programs are updated and patched does not mean they are necessarily safe. Cybercriminals are capable of embedding VBA code into a Word document which will cause the program to install an executable file on your computer without giving you a prompt. This type of cyberattack is much more dangerous if you happen to be running outdated versions of software, so if you are doing so be careful of what Microsoft program documents you download.    

There are are many viruses which have been specifically developed to be spread through emails, which unfortunately means you should be wary of any strange emails you receive. If an email seems extremely out of place, don’t open it. If an odd email address sends you an email with an attachment, you can always save the file to your hard drive in order to scan it with your antivirus program to make sure it’s virus-free before opening it.

Email attachment viruses can really screw up your system, and once downloaded can be extremely difficult to get rid of. You can’t win every battle with your cyber enemies, which means there will be times when you’ll need a PC tune-up to get your system back up to speed.  If you’ve drawn the shortest straw in the universe and your PC can no longer turn on after downloading a virus, we can always help you with a PC repair if you live in the Southwest Ohio area.

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