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Are emails scanned for viruses?

Blocking of executable email attachments/virus scanning

All email sent to or from UCL addresses is scanned for viruses. If a virus is found, it is removed and the message forwarded to the recipient with a warning that an attachment has been removed. The sender of the message is also warned.

In addition, certain file extensions that are commonly used by viruses or that are capable of misuse, for example, .exe , are automatically blocked. This measure is necessary to stop new viruses that are not detected by the virus scanning system at the time of sending.

Type of files blocked

The following file types are blocked by the virus scanning system. Any .zip files or other archives containing any of these file types will also be blocked:

.app Executable Application
.asx Windows Media Audio / Video
.bas Microsoft Visual Basic class module
.bat Batch file
.cmd DOS CP/M Command File, Command File for Windows NT
.com Command
.cpl Control Panel Extension
.exe Executable File
.isp Internet Service Provider Settings (Microsoft)
.js JavaScript file
.jse Jscript Encoded Script file
.pif Windows Program Information File (Microsoft)
.scf Windows Explorer Command
.scr Windows Screen saver
.shs Shell Scrap Object File
.vb VBScript file or Any VisualBasic Source
.vbe VBScript Encoded script file
.vbs VBScript file
.ws Windows Script File
.wsc Windows Script Component
.wsf Windows Script file
.wsh Windows Script Host Settings file

Possible workarounds

If you need to send a file of one of these types, there are several possible workarounds.

1. Rename the file extension to something else

For example you could rename 'file.exe' to 'file.ex_'. The recipient will have to rename the file back to the original extension. To rename a file in Windows, simply right-click on it and click 'Rename'.

However, by default Windows hides file extensions, so 'file.exe' may appear simply as 'file'. In order to rename the file extension you must first make sure it is displayed. to do this, click Start, My Computer, then click Tools, Folder Options. Click the View tab and untick Hide extensions for known file types.

2. If the content is available on the internet consider providing a link to the content for the person to download.

3. Place the content inside a .zip archive which is encrypted and provide the recipient with the password to open the .zip archive.