Anti-virus software is simply not enough. An email worm can spread worldwide in just minutes, but it takes hours for anti-virus vendors to analyze, create, and implement updates. Fortunately, there are five easy steps you can take to help close that window of vulnerability and help keep email worms off your system.
- Identify: Understanding the nature of the attachment is the first step towards email safety. Any executable type attachment has the potential to be infected. This covers a wide range of extensions. Complicating matters is that, by default, Windows suppresses file extensions. Make sure you have file extension viewing enabled.
- Intent: An executable type attachment should not be opened unless it was specifically requested or expected. Since email worms are sent to addresses found on infected users’ machines, just knowing the sender is no proof of intent – they may well be infected. Most likely, an email worm will come from someone you know and the sender is oblivious to the viral email being sent from their machine. Worse, today’s worms spoof the “From” address, so it might not even be from the person you think it is. If there’s any question as to the intent, see the next rule below.
- Necessity: This is the simplest rule to follow, but one that many people ignore. If you do not need the attachment, don’t open it. Delete the email instead.
- Secure your client: To date, many email worms and viruses have taken advantage of security vulnerabilities found in Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express. However, any mail client that supports HTML and scripting should be considered at risk. Go to your email program vendor’s site for any updates.
- Patch your system: Microsoft releases approximately 100 security patches each year. The Microsoft Windows update site will automatically scan your system and provide a list of recommended updates specific to your operating system. Install any updates marked as “Critical”. Security needs a proactive approach. Visit the Windows update site monthly to ensure all necessary patches are installed.
As our client, your company’s network security is our top priority. ANC performs routine maintenance, software updates, and system upgrades as part of your network security. Advanced Network Consulting has been servicing clients throughout Southern California for nearly 20 years. We’ve seen every form of viruses out there and our techs are constantly educating themselves on the latest threats and tactics. With two offices strategically located in La Mirada to serve Southeast LA County and North Orange County, and an office in Irvine to service South Orange County, same day appointments, scheduled maintenance and remote access appointments, phone support, and emergency calls are available 7 days a week.