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Information Technology Services

Preventing Email Viruses

Some important steps you can take to protect yourself from getting a virus through email:

  1. Do not download or open any unknown files that are attached to an email; they could be viruses. If you are unsure, err on the side of caution, and do not open the attached files. Important: If you must download an attached file to an email, make sure to save it and scan it for viruses before you open it.
  2. Remember to keep your Virus Protection updated! ITS recommends you set your Virus software to auto-update. Also, be careful not to "cancel" out of auto-update if it tries to run when you are using your computer. For detailed information about virus protection, updates, downloads, and advice, go to: Anti-virus software updates are made available at least once per month. Note: All BCCR computers for faculty and staff were delivered with Virus protection set to auto-update.
  3. Turn off macros in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. There is a widespread set of viruses known as macro viruses. These are viruses designed to run when you open a Microsoft Office product such as Word. If macros are turned off, it is unlikely that a virus will be able to launch itself and do harm to your computer.
  4. When using Outlook as your email program, turn the Preview feature off as an extra precaution. Learn how to turn off the Preview features in Outlook.


Reporting an email virus

If you get a virus from an infected file, you should do the following:

  • Inform the person you originally got the infected file from.
  • Inform people who have access to the file on the network.
  • Inform anyone that you emailed the infected file to.

Please do not send a warning to everyone you know. ITS can propagate such messages in an efficient manner, and these sorts of warnings can cause other problems.