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Guidelines for the Healthy Use of E-mail

NTBugtraq recently included suggestions for running a healthy, virus-free e-mail program. When receiving an e-mail message containing an attachment that was not expected or from an unknown sender, do the following:

  • Do not touch the attachment. Don't open it, don't view it, don't save it to disk.
  • Contact the sender to verify they actually sent the attachment.
  • Ask them what it is.
  • If still unsure about it, contact a network administrator. Do not send them a copy of the attachment unless they request one.
  • If all else fails, send a message to Virus@SecurityAdvice.com describing the message. Copies of the attachment can be sent to this address. After investigating the message, SecurityAdivce.com will reply with whatever information is available.

When sending someone an e-mail message with an attachment, do the following:

  • Before sending the message with the attachment, send the recipient a message telling them to expect an attachment.
    • Avoid sending messages with attachments that contain executable code, such as Word documents with macros. Instead of sending them a DOC file, send them a RTF version.
    • Run an anti-virus product, but don't rely on it completely.
    • Scan any file before attaching it to an e-mail.


    --Thomas Sullivan
    Source: SecurityAdvice.com

    About the Author

    Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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