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How We Safeguard You from Receiving Viruses in your Email


All incoming and outgoing emails that pass through the Arrowmail servers are scanned for viruses and when one is found, the whole email is deleted and no notifications are generated.

It's not the text of an email that contains a virus but rather, any attachment the email may contain, and so it's these attached files that are scanned, including any contained inside an attached ZIP file.



Why don't we send a notification email to the recipient or the sender when we find a virus in an email?

The sender's address has, most likely, been forged so a notification to the sender would be pointless, annoying or alarming to the innocent person whose address was used in the email.
Why do you need to be informed that someone tried to send you a virus?
Our view is that the original virus email was a waste of Internet bandwidth so why allow it to generate more traffic?



We go one step further

We remove attached files of certain types even if they show OK to a virus scan.
This is a precaution against new viruses.
The blocked file-types are the ones used, almost exclusively, for transmitting viruses and rarely have any legitimate purpose.
Here's a full list of the file-types that we block:-


ade adp asf bas bat chm cmd com cpl crt exe hlp hta
inf ins isp js jse lnk mbd mde msc msi msp mst pcd
pif reg scr sct shb shs vb vbe vbs wmd wmv wmz wsc
wsf wsh                      

The above list shows the right-most part of a file's name, after the final full stop, which is often hidden in file listings and indicates to Windows the program it should use to open the file.
Password-protected ZIP files, that can't be scanned are also blocked.

Let us emphasise that file-types commonly sent as attachments by legitimate users are not blocked if they get the "all clear" from our virus scanner.
These include, but are not limited to:-


doc gif jpg mp3 pdf ppt wav xls docx pptx xlsx    

When a blocked file-type is detected, the file is deleted but the email is permitted to continue on to it's destination so that you know what's happened in case you really are trying to send someone the file.
If you want to send someone an EXE file, for example, you can either put it in a ZIP file and attach the ZIP or copy it to your Public Web Folder and then include a link to the file in your email.
You could also rename the filename extension to something safe, such as TXT, and inform the recipient to change it back to EXE.

Our front-end and back-end mail-servers each have their own anti-virus system, from different manufacturers, so most emails get scanned twice.
(Internal emails that don't leave the back-end server only get scanned once.)
It is therefore highly unlikely that an email-borne virus will ever make it through our defences.



Should you turn off email-scanning on your PC's Anti-Virus Program?

Perhaps, if it's causing problems or delays and if you send and receive email only from the Arrowmail servers.
If you don't actually have a program for virus-scanning emails and, again, all your email comes through Arrowmail, then you're probably safe enough, however, when it comes to computer security, the more layers of protection you have, the better.



Other dangers from emails

Attachments aren't the only way an email can cause your PC to become infected by a virus.
An email may contain a link to a virus installer or a link to a website that will try and convince you, by some subterfuge, to allow a virus to be installed on your PC.
It's beyond the scope of our anti-virus scanner to spot these tricks and so it's our anti-spam system's job to detect such emails, plus any other emails with dishonest intent, and divert them away from your inbox.
Your PC's anti-virus program or security suite should block these attempts to install a virus during the download process but the best defence against these tricks is your own scepticism and common sense.
No matter who the email claims to be from or what calamity it is warning you about, assume it's a trick and ignore it.
Genuine companies and institutions you deal with, know better than to use email to resolve important problems.

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