Software and Applications (non-game)
Computer Viruses
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What are the risks of opening an email attachment?

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2011-11-30 21:11:22
2011-11-30 21:11:22

The risk is the spread of malware. Malware is anything that affects the functionability of your system or executes commands that are not wanted by the user. You can get anything from viruses to trojans to worms, spyware, adware, grayware. The best way to help avoid these dangerous attachments is to really chose your email account wisely. Yahoo is the best free email because it scans all of the files you want to send as attachments and before you open them it scans them again. This helps to stop the spread of email. The next is to use common sense. As your self am I suppose to get this email. also ask your self these questions. was I expecting it, do I know the sender, does me getting it help me in any way and why would I need the email and the attachment

Email viruses and worms are common. If you've not received one, chances are you will. Here are steps you can use to help you decide what to do with every email message with an attachment that you receive. You should only read a message that passes all of these tests.

  1. The Know test: Is the email from someone that you know?
  2. The Received test: Have you received email from this sender before?
  3. The Expect test: Were you expecting email with an attachment from this sender?
  4. The Sense test: Does email from the sender with the contents as described in the Subject line and the name of the attachment(s) make sense? For example, would you expect the sender - let's say your Mother - to send you an email message with the Subject line "Here you have, ;o)" that contains a message with attachment - let's say AnnaKournikova.jpg.vbs? A message like that probably doesn't make sense. In fact, it happens to be an instance of the Anna Kournikova worm, and reading it can damage your system.
  5. The Virus test: Does this email contain a virus? To determine this, you need to install and use an anti-virus program. That task is described in Task 1 - Install and Use Anti-Virus Programs of "Home Computer Security."

You should apply these tests - KRESV - to every piece of email with an attachment that you receive. If any test fails, toss that email. If they all pass, then you still need to exercise care and watch for unexpected results as you read it.

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Related Questions


Especially the opening of unknown attachment.

There are no risks of opening an e-mail containing content. However, there might be risks associated with a harmful file contained as an attachment in the email, or a link which re-directs you to a harmful site.

The riskis of opening up an email attachment with a picture is if you dont know the sender who is sending it that picture could contain malaware keylogger or a virus that is why I would recommend Norton Interent Security or something that scans before you open/download it If you have any more issues please Message us! The risks of Opening an email attachment with a picture are 1.There could be a virus in the attachment 2. Malaware 3. Keylogger 4. Could be a hacker 5. Could have something Inappropiate in it! When opening Piture attachemtns please be careful as this happens quite frequently if your not careful! Stay safe.

Risk of email attachments is one way to get a virus/spam/malware but opening an attachment without you not knowing what it is, that's stupid, don't bother even opening the attachment. If you want to open a attachment email and protect yourself, AVG has a email scanner and protecter built in. The email provider you are with will say if its spam or whatever anyways, or should.

opening an email attachment downloading stuff from the internet

If you download an unknown email attachment and open it on your computer, it could install a virus on your system and you would have a problem.

Simply opening the email won't do the harm, downloading and running is what can give the sender control over your computer it may be a key logger or a RAT (something that give the sender full control over your computer)

By opening an email attachment, clicking on a link,or installing helpful looking software.

probably a viruse and posibly hack in ur webcam and loook at you through it :S

There are some basic factors which every recipient should consider while opening an email such as Email Address (From whom we received email), Date & Time, Subject of Email, Name of other recipients (in the CC, BC fields), Attachment with email message.

When an email virus first sends itself out, opening the attachment in the email makes the virus send itself out to your address book and damage your computer.

Viruses can be downloaded into your computer if you're not careful about who's email attachments you should open.

The email could contain some sort of virus, that takes your passwords and other information.

An email attachment could possibly be infected with a virus, malware, trojan, etc. Don't open an attachment from an unknown source. If you must, scan with an anti-virus program before opening the attachment.

Yes, except if you have a email virus scanner. But even then there is a slight risk. You can always get your virus software to selectively scan the email.

Keep your antivirus software up to date and never open an email attachment unless you absolutely trust the person or company that sent it.

Email virus' are semi common. They are when a computer code is sent to an email via note with an attachment which can be activated by clicking on it or opening the email. Often they add virus to the computer which may ruin it.

It is either an attachment in love or an attachment to an email for example a word doc is an attachment.

more than likey there is a virus attached and you can possibly infect your computer

Click the button of "Add attachment".

An attachment is a file that is sent along with an email message. Imagine a postal envelope containing a letter and a small picture of the sender. The envelope is the email, the letter is the body of the email and the picture could be an attachment.

opening an email attachment (storm worm), clicking on a link, and installing software (conficker.a,b,c, or x)

An email attachment can contain a virus, be carefull not to open anything from an unknown sender.


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