As a regular Outlook user, the idea of getting your system compromised by simply opening your email may sound a bit bizarre. However if an email that you have opened contains a malicious package which can be an attachment file or even an embedded image, the chances of getting compromised is very high. There are several kinds of malicious entities that can piggybank on an email and get into your system and they are typically classified into worms, Trojan horses or viruses. In this article we would look at such threats in detail and look at ways to avoid them while using the Outlook email client.
Worms Coming Through Emails Can Cause Havoc
While worms are often considered a type of virus by many, the way worms propagate makes them stand out. In fact worms happen to be most contagious form of malware that can get into your email client through an innocuous looking attachment. Most email based worms tend to replication by mailing a copy of themselves to your contact list and thus spread wide and far in quick time. Worms also tend to spread themselves on all available network infrastructures and may end up clogging routers and blocking your ports. To counter worms, it always advised to enable email scanning in your antivirus application. Moreover you should not open attachments from unreliable sources in Ms Outlook.
Trojan Horses can Masquerade themselves as useful attachments
Borrowing on the same properties of deception that the mystical Trojan horse achieved in the war of Troy, malicious programs masquerade themselves as normal files or even images that user consider as regular or harmless. When a certain condition is met, the Trojan horse malware activates itself and infects the system and can perform a host of unwarranted activities. To avoid Trojan horse in Outlook you should disable image downloads and also avoid opening attachments without verifying the credentials of the sender.
Viruses and Blended Threats Can be distributed through Emails
Viruses of all hues and even blended threats which contain mix payloads can be distributed through emails. Thus it is absolutely critical for an Outlook user to keep their antivirus programs up to date and enable email screening and real time protection.
A Recovery Tool will be Key to your Outlook Contingency Plan
Given the wide array of threats that come through an email, it may not come as a big surprise if someday you find your Outlook email client to have been infected by a virus. While an antivirus tool would help you eradicate the malicious program, you need to keep a pst repair tool like DataNumen Outlook Repair handy to get back the lost data. This highly sophisticated application can bring back all Ms Outlook data containers including contacts and journals with ease and in a very brief span of time.
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