Is That Email Attachment Clean or Infected with some Virus ?

Published in: antivirus - email attachments - useful

Say you have received a suspicious looking file as an email attachment that may or may not be infected with a virus.

If that email is from some unknown source, you are very likely to delete it immediately but what do you do if that file attachment has come from a friend or a trusted colleague ?

Simple, use email. Here’s what you can do to make sure that the attached file is safe and won’t harm your computer:

1. Forward that email message with the file attachment intact to (limit is 10 MB)

2. Write SCAN in the Subject field of the forwarded message and delete the full body of the message. Send.

3. You should receive a virus report in the next few minutes.

The advantage of using Virustotal is that it doesn’t require you to download the file attachment to your computer and best of all, it scans your file across multiple antivirus software including AVG, Nod32, McAfee, F-Prot, etc so the chances are very high that infected email attachments will never go undetected.

If you have a file on the hard drive, upload that to via web browser and wait as this free service analyzes your file using different antivirus services.

Gmail doesn’t allow executable file attachments (including .bat, .exe, .pif, .scr, .vbs, .cmd, .com and others) so here’s a workaround - Send Any File Type with Gmail.

Remember that VirusTotal will only detect the virus in your files, it won’t clean the infected files. For cleaning, refer to a previous story - The Best Anti Virus Software (online).

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Published in: antivirus - email attachments - useful

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Meet the Author

Web Geek, Google Developer Expert
Amit Agarwal

Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India. He is the developer of Mail Merge for Gmail and Document Studio. Read more on Lifehacker and YourStory

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