The Ms Outlook application is undoubtedly the most widely used desktop email client across the globe and this popularity has its own drawbacks. Hackers have long tried and have successfully managed to launch viruses directed at the Outlook application that use the email client to spread across to more systems. Using the contact details stored in the address book, a virus may send out emails to your contacts with harmful attachments in them. Now if you have been receiving complaints from your contacts about spam emails coming from your email ID, you should immediately pay attention to the issue. If you are not sending these emails then there is a very good chance that the Outlook application has been compromised.
Spam Emitting from Outlook is an Indicator of a Virus Infection
The very fact that emails are going out your mailbox to people without you actually sending them is a clear case of a virus infection. However do check if the email is being sent to just one or two email IDs only and if so it could be a technical issue with the Outlook client. At times, an email can get stuck in the Outbox and fall in a repeat loop. While such cases are very rare, it would make sense to eliminate the scenario. If emails, with gibberish attachments are being sent to all or a large number of your contacts, it is pretty much the handiwork of a malicious code and you need to consider removing it.
Run an Antivirus Scan and Implement Email Checking
To eradicate the problem you need to run a top of the line antivirus utility which has been updated with the latest virus definitions. Ideally you should opt for a tool which has a database signature stored in the cloud and is powerful enough to deal with complex viruses. Once the infection has been removed, you need to enable real time protection in the antivirus utility and also enforce email checking. It would ensure that any email entering the Outlook mailbox is free from malicious contents.
Virus Attacks May Corrupt the Underlying PST data files
If your Outlook application has been affected by a virus, there are chances that your underlying PST file may get compromised. In such cases after you have used an antivirus application to remove the infection, you should try to backup your PST files. In case of a crash or any PST error, you should immediately call in a pst recovery tool like DataNumen Outlook Repair which can help you retrieve your data in the shortest possible span of time. The tool is designed to draw out every possible data element that was encompassed in the email client including journals and notes. Moreover the tool is successful in negotiating large PST files over the 2GB limit with aplomb.
Alan Chen is President & Chairman of DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including sql recovery and outlook repair software products. For more information visit www.datanumen.com/products.htm