In the world of computing, hackers and virus programmers had always found effective ways to spread the threats. It’s a bit surprising to know that one medium has always been in use; being popular even at the current scenario. Well, we are talking about Email, which is a prominent method of spreading malware to different users. In this article, we will talk more about virus attacks via email and some effective ways to prevent those threats. So that, you can be secure from email-based threats you might come across – given that you take necessary prevention.
How Viruses Are Spread through Email?
We hope you know the basic working process of emails. There will be an address and the mail may consist of text, images and variety of attachments. So, a hacker understands this working process and writes the virus in an effective manner. To make things clear, we will have an example about how viruses are spread through emails. And, Melissa virus is the cleanest example we can take.
As you may have guessed, the Melissa virus was targeted towards Windows PCs. This virus was actually made inside one Microsoft Word document, which was the popular file format in 1999. So, if you download the Word document and open it, the virus will be infected in no time. After the infection, Melissa starts the real job. The virus accesses the address book of the victimized computer and selects the top 50 contacts. An email will be sent to each of these contacts, with a personal note as well. So, naturally, the recipients of the mail would open it. As you can guess, the cycle of virus continues. What’s more to say, the Melissa virus was so claustrophobic that even the popular email service providers had to shut down their services to be protected from it.
So, the method of virus attacks via emails is an easy task, unlike you guess. Even now, there are people who’d download and open attachments sent from unknown contacts. It means that the Email Virus Attacks are still prominent. Now, let’s discuss the current scenario.
The Current Scenario of Virus Attacks via Email
Now, after the digital education most of us have received, we know the problems of email virus attacks. So, now, hackers have started taking other methods. The first one is to send an email to a bunch of people with some seemingly-genuine notes. For instance, you may receive an email saying that you have won $1000000 from the Bank of Somewhere Lottery. You will also be asked to download and install a program to claim the money. This is actually the best method that is seen today. And, if you are thinking otherwise, many people become victim to this issue.
On another situation, people are asked to follow some links or install a toolbar. What happens when you do these things is that malicious things get installed. These files and agents are enough for hackers to get access to your computer as well as data — thus exposing your security. And, in short, that is how the concept of email virus attacks work.
Now we can have a look on the potential methods to avoid virus attacks via email.
How to Prevent Virus Attacks via Email?
We will list out the effective methods to prevent email virus attacks. They are not 100% effective, but they will surely get your rid of possible attacks.
- Read Before You Act
No one on earth is going to give you $1000000 for nothing and there should be something malicious down there. So, when you receive emails like that, use your brain before acting. In short, you should never reply to those hoax emails that come asking your personal information or money. If you reply, you will be tagged as a possible victim and will be targeted for a bunch of following attacks. So, the best thing is to just delete the mail when you are unsure of authenticity.
- Never Open Email Attachments from Unknown Sources
Suppose you receive a message from an unknown email ID with an attachment. The attachment will possibly be a .EXE file or another type of executable file. When you download and open the attachments, you are giving access to the hacker to your computer and data. In seconds, everything required for spying would be installed and you’ll be the prey. So, unless you are sure about the source, you should never open the email attachments. If it’s necessary to open those attachments, you need to perform an antivirus and anti-malware scan before that.
- Use an Antivirus Security Suite
Yeah, an antivirus security suite is now adequate to avoid virus attacks via email. Nowadays, effective antivirus solutions such as Bitdefender, Norton, Kaspersky etc come with dedicated protection against email virus threats. Once installed and set up, these security suites for scan your computer for possible email threats and get you rid of after effects. So, if you are too careful when it comes to handling emails, you can get a premium-quality security suite.
- Keep your Email ID confidential
Unless really necessary, you must not provide your email ID in web spaces. Of course, you may be asked for it in several situations. But, it’s a good thing not to share; so, you won’t become prey to the email-based virus attacks anymore.
Well, what do you think about these methods to avoid virus attacks via email? Although not fully effective, they can really bring down the numbers. So, make sure you keep all these things in mind when you open an email message next time.