Saturday, January 22, 2011

ICT INFO: Email Attachments: Protect Your Business


Email Services

There are several email service providers available on the internet such as Google's gmail. Once set up with an email service, users are able to pass messages back and forth consisting of different types of information, files, and applications. This presents a risk not only to your computer hardware but also to files that are stored on the hard drive. You should ensure that the email service provider you use for your business can scan all attached files in order to check for viruses. Check that your email is equipped with a spam filter. This will catch some of the most common junk mail that may pose a threat to your computer.


Downloading Attachments

Computers are easily susceptible to virus threats through email even when you have a good anti-virus program in place. Help protect your business by being cautious of files that are sent through email to prevent possible infection. You should also avoid opening emails from unfamiliar senders, and never download a file from an email you don't recognize. There is as well the possibility of getting a file attachment that poses a threat from someone you know.
When possible, request that files are sent in recognizable formats. Most standard files sent by email are either in PDF or Word format. This is noticeable because the attachment will end in .pdf or .doc and docx in most cases. Executable files are very dangerous files that can cause immediate damage to your business computer system upon download. They contain viruses that may attach themselves to your business files and steal sensitive information.


Protecting Your Business

Securing your business against threats from email attachments can be a simple process. The first step in securing your web-based email is to have your own virus scanner in addition to those supplied by email service providers. Your virus software should be updated regularly. Out-of-date programs do not catch new viruses and leave your business computers vulnerable. Computers should also have a spam blocker to help prevent any further chances at catching a virus. When certain files get through your spam blocker you can mark them as spam and have them redirected out of your inbox.
Some email programs have a defaulted preview pane which opens email, as soon as it is received. By leaving the preview pane feature on, it is possible for malicious software to start downloading without users having to click on the file. Because of this, it's important to disable the preview pane option within your email program.
By adhering to some simple steps this will help your business stay secure from threats due to malicious attachments. Ensure that employees understand and follow all guidelines related to email security. This will help prevent potential threats being passed through the network due to employees being unaware of the warning signs.

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