Risk Of Opening Unknown Email Attachments: Tips

risk of opening unknown email attachments

What is the Risk of opening unknown email attachments:

Email is the easiest way to use for communication on internet. It has a lot of risk of opening unknown email attachments. Unknown email attachments can easily infect your computer or smart phone. In most companies email used for an authentic correspondence. You can’t control for incoming mail in your mail account. You can only filter the incoming mail by marking them as scam. Many cyber-criminals used the email attachments to theft the data.

They sent the malicious code include in the attached file via email. The unaware user comes in their trap unknowingly by opening the attachments. Files of many types can be attached in email. Many email service allow doing a scan of the attachment for security reasons. Email servers remove them if find any vulnerability in the attach file.  Cyber-criminal also sent some links in the email which allow automatically download the harmful files from internet. In this article I explain about the risk of opening unknown email attachments.

Identify the attached file and avoid the risk of opening unknown email attachments.

The attached files can easily identified by its extension. Some dangerous file extensions are known by us. Like the exe file extension may be harmful for windows platform. Similarly .apk files are the programs which can be used to install in any android smart phone. There are many other file formats which can generally use by programmer. Examples of other dangerous file types are .cpl, .bat, .cmd, .scr, .reg, .jar etc. I suggest if you don’t recognize the type of file then don’t open it. Generally people used the attachment feature to share the office documents in email. That’s why risk of opening unknown email attachments always comes in mind. These documents are generally .docx, .xlsx, .pptx, .pdf etc. a little knowledge about file extension can reduce the risk of opening unknown email attachments.

Identify the compressed files.

Mostly the harmful files are scanned by the email servers and remove immediately. To bypass this feature cyber criminals used the file encryption method. Many software used for compress and encrypt the digital data like zip, rar. I suggest if you find any attachment of these format from unknown sender don’t download and open in your system. If you trust these mails then only take the risk of opening unknown email attachments.

Before opening any email in your inbox checkout the sender address. Open these email only which have a trusted sender address. I suggest if you got any email from unknown sender check the email address on search engine online. May be you can find the blacklisted email address online. This trick can be helpful to you to minimize the risk of opening unknown email attachments.

Updated antivirus can be a good aid to minimize the risk of opening unknown email attachments. When you are working online with a good updated antivirus. It will automatically scan the online content and warn you about the attachments. if antivirus gives any alert for any suspicious attachment in email don’t download it. Mostly malware are deducted by updated antivirus. If your antivirus is not able to scan online a file in browser. You should scan once before opening it in your computer.

Common email attachment virus types and their effects

Many web browsers used by peoples for internet surfing. Many extensions are available online which provide some additional features during surfing the internet. Cyber-criminal uses these extension type programs to keep an eye on your activity online. These programs sent with attachment in email. These malicious codes are always give risk of opening unknown email attachments. Once user open these unknown programs. It will automatically install the key logger type malware in browser and record your each key stroke on keyboard. It can be easily used to hack your password of online accounts. I suggest never install any program which is not recognized by you.

Many types computer virus also sent through email attachments. These viruses install the malware in your computer when you download and open these attachments. Once any malware installed in your computer it can send the information from your computer to the cyber-criminal. In other end the computer virus also harmful to your computer in many ways. If you know about computer virus it is easy to understand the risk of opening unknown email attachments.

Some more dangerous virus like Trojan horse also spread via email. Once these viruses installed in your computer the hacker can remotely access to your computer. It doesn’t need your permission to provide the remote of your computer. It may cause any type of damage to your system software as well as to hardware.

Tips to keep safe your self

  • Always keep update operating system and software of your system. Many bugs of any software removed by their developers. Regular updates available online which make the software more secure.
  • Always use a good antivirus with your computer or smart phone. It is very helpful to scan the data online and remove it automatically if found unsecured. Sometimes antivirus allow users to remove the files manually. Antivirus always minimize the risk of opening unknown email attachments.
  • Never run the unknown programs on your computer like free software, game, videos etc. if you got these files from unknown source or email always deny to use them.
  • Never click on the unknown links got in email. These links can be used by the cyber-criminal to install any virus or malware in your system. Many times the unknown link establishes a peer to peer connection of your system with the remote server. The virus or malware then starts download in your computer and install automatically.
  • If you find any attachment in your email which prompt to run or save. Always save the file in your hard drive before installing it and do a scan. After doing that run it in your computer. This trick will minimize the risk of opening unknown email attachments.
  • Browsers allow downloading the attachments automatically. I suggest manually changed the setting of download attachments in your browser. It will help you to identify the attachment before downloading in your computer.
  • Guest user is a good feature to avoid any installation in your computer. All operating system have this feature. Set the guest user with minimum permissions and login through it. Guest user mode disallows to install any software in the running computer. Administrator mode have full permissions to install or modify any software program in your computer.
About Chitrasen Singh 32 Articles

I am Glad that you find me on the web. I am a web developer and belongs to India. I hope my website will help to the seekers of security blogs online and the articles published on this website will be useful for online users. I like to share my experience of IT security.Your suggestions on security topics are always welcome.

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