Why Opening Email Attachments can be Dangerous
By Mark Phillips ¦ Blog.TotalAV.com ¦ Updated 17th March 2017, 13.28 EDT
Email attachments can carry a number of potential dangers and it’s important to be aware of the potential risks so that you can try to avoid them. People who make viruses often use tricks to encourage you to open the attachment, as such pretending it’s a joke or a picture. They may also try to trick you by using wording such as ‘Urgent’ or ‘Read now’ to make you open the attachment.
Risks of Opening Email Attachments
Emails are a convenient way to connect with others, however, they are susceptible to attacks known as malicious software, or malware. This malware is unleashed only when you open an unsafe the attachment and it can do various things such as making your computer perform actions that you do not want it to do. Discover the risks of opening email attachments so you can also protect yourself.
Most of the people regularly receive web bugs in their inbox. While housed in a spam message, these invisible icons detect whether an email address is active so they can continue to clog other peoples’ mailboxes. These bugs are very difficult to prevent, but you can try deleting obvious junk mail without opening them or set your email program to view all messages as text only.
Mass mailing worms (also known as “email worms”) can spread rapidly from user to user, these worms can even, unintentionally come from people you know, and once unleashed through an attachment, begin sending themselves to people in your address book. If you are not expecting something from your relatives or friends, check with them before opening the message.
The term “computer virus” is regularly associated with some harmful email-attachments and scripts. Viruses usually work their themselves into your operating system and begin changing the manner in which your computer behaves. For example, a user might be notice that their system has slowed down significantly, and another person discovers that their files are tampered with and no longer operable. Regularly run virus scans on your computer to help prevent this problem and choose a antivirus with Real-time scanning.
Some attachments might cause you mildly annoying effects, but others can be very harmful, such as Trojan horse. This malware disguises itself as a helpful program to gain trust and get inside on your computer. Once it gets inside, hackers can gain remote access and therefore retrieve personal information for their own personal gain, which is more commonly named, identity theft. Protect yourself with antivirus software such as like Norton to prevent any type of damage.
Another attachment, is the malicious executable, that which is known for causing serious damage very quickly. These attacks seek to acquire sensitive information and can cause your system to crash or to become inoperable. Like other malwares, this can be executable and it can be sent from someone you know and contain seemingly innocent subject lines, such as “You have received a Web template or E-Card!” or something similar to this message. Again, take care not to open any attachments that are not really expected, and regularly run virus protection applications.