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What is an email virus?
How can I avoid them?
Further information
Example of a potential email virus attempt at UCL

What is an email virus?

Email viruses have been around for some time and continue to be a common threat to your computer. They are programs which can affect your machine and spread across other computers and networks.

Viruses can behave in different ways. They can attach themselves to programs on your machine, which when opened triggers the launch of the virus code. Some viruses attempt to make changes to your documents and settings, or even wipe your local drive (C:\)!

How can I avoid them?

While we use virus scanners to check incoming and outgoing mail, it is essential that you do not rely on the mail scanning system for complete virus protection. You will need to exercise caution and be careful with all attachments that you receive.

If you think you have received an email which contains a virus:

  • Do not open the attachment
  • Do not reply to the sender

If in doubt, contact the ISD Service Desk.

Further information

Virus protection on the Managed Windows system

View list of extensions blocked by the email scanning system.

Learn more about email attachments.