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Questions about virus control

by grandpaw7 / July 1, 2004 8:19 AM PDT

I'm a little embarrassed to post these because I guess I should know the answers but I don't, or at least am not sure. I did some research to find the answers but it looks like it might take me hours to do this, and I expect most users already know them.

1. do the major antivirus programs scan emails?

2. I assume that the antivirus programs do not automatically scan email attachments or programs to be downloaded, right? Can someone go through the procedure for putting download programs and email attachments together in a separate folder and then scanning them for viruses? Do the major antivirus programs allow for this?


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Re: Questions about virus control
by becca73 / July 1, 2004 8:54 AM PDT

Yes, AVG, Norton, and Mcafee all can be configured to
scan incoming and outgoing email for Outlook
Express, etc. There is also a worm-blocking/script
blocking feature. Just right click on a file or
program to find the option to scan it. Some programs,
like Norton, can halt your activities because it detects mal-ware before it can be downloaded (Sometimes!)

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Grandpaw, The Method Depends On The Antivirus Program and...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / July 1, 2004 9:58 AM PDT

...the e-mail client. Here are the situations that I'm familiar with and anyone who is familiar with specific requirements can sure chime in here.:

Norton Antivirus-all recent versions: Will scan e-mail and attachments WHILE they're being downloaded into Outlook Express, Outlook and others.

McAfee Virus Scan 7: Will scan e-mail and attachments WHILE they download into Microsoft Outlook ONLY but NOT into other e-mail clients such as Outlook Express. It's designed to catch viruses when attempting to open them in Outlook Express. (My procedure for scanning messages BEFORE you attempt to open them from Outlook Express is shown in the "A Few Tips For Computer Newbies" thread and can be read by CLICKING HERE).

McAfee Virus Scan 8: Scans e-mail messages and attachments WHILE they're downloading into most major e-mail clients. Unfortunately, this particular program does not rate high on most user's list, but it's a personal decision.

AVG 6(Free): Currently, according to their website, AVG (Free) supports Microsoft Outlook only. Much like older versions of McAfee, in Outlook Express, the mail is allowed into the "inbox" but is caught when you "attempt" to open it. The "Virus Stuff" folder method I mentioned above in the link can be used here also.

AVG 7: The "paid for" version of AVG has a default e-mail scanner for Outlook Express that scans e-mail messages and attachments WHILE they're being downloaded into the inbox. There are plug-ins for other e-mail clients also.

Remember, most of the antivirus scanners which are able to scan message WHILE they're downloading to the e-mail client use a "spooler" type of setup which allows the files to be scanned during the download process. The download scanners in all antivirus programs are not as effective at detecting viruses as the "on demand" scanners for those programs. The download scanners, although effective, can miss some viruses in compressed files and other situations. Because of this, it is much safer to save messages with attachments to a separate folder and scan them manually. Even then, nothing's perfect and caution is the word of the day. If you don't know who it's from, delete the message.

Hope this helps.


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Frustration galore
by grandpaw7 / July 4, 2004 11:26 AM PDT

I don't understand the business of a right click scan. I assume that in some way a right click will produce a menu that includes an item calling for a virus scan. But I don't see any such virus scan item on the menu I get when I right click.

I've created the new OE local folder, I call it Virus Scan, and put an OE email in it. But when I right click I don't get a menu containing any virus scan item, so I don?t know what I need to do to get it scanned, and I don?t know whether the scan will also scan any attachment.

I don?t know if this has anything to do with it: When I right click on Start, one of the items in the resulting menu is "Scan with AVG", but when I click on it has "last file tested" and lists a Works Calendar Reminder item. I have no idea what use I can make of that Scan with AVG program or item.

Boy, I don't know how you found out the info about what the different antivirus programs scan in email. When I go to the antivirus websties the best I can find out is that they scan emails, with no further details. It?s like they want you to try out the program to see what it does.

You say that AVG 6 supports only Outlook. But you go on to say " in Outlook Express, the mail is allowed into the "inbox" but is caught when you "attempt" to open it. The "Virus Stuff" folder method I mentioned above in the link can be used here also."

Does that mean I can move emails in OE to that new folder and then somehow get AVG to scan them?

AVG6 Control Center provides for me to opt to have incoming and outgoing emails scanned but I don?t know if that includes attachments. I also don?t know if AVG6 is in fact doing this scanning. There?s a place on the Control Center where I opted for certification; it says ?this message will be attached to the mail if you enable certification: ?incoming/outgoing mail is certified virus free?. But I don?t see any such certification anywhere, whether I open my Hotmail in Hotmail or in OE.

The AVG Control Center doesn?t say anything about using a particular email program, but I gather from what you say that it doesn?t do anything if I use Hotmail and open my mail in Hotmail rather than OE. Lord, you?d think it would be important for an AVG client to know that.

I gather that even if AVG is scanning Hotmail in OE, it may not be enough and that is why I should consider moving the mail to the new folder and getting it scanned there.

I'm also not clear about whether when we talk about an antivirus program scanning email if that means it scans the attachments too.

The virus discussions talk about email being the main source of virus problems. Yet, outside of your post, I can't find much discussion of how the various antivirus programs deal with emails. Or attachments. I guess people's minds just work differently from mine. It's frustrating. Maybe it's old age.

Sorry to be so lengthy but I might as well get it all off my chest. Also, this is sort of disjointed because right now my mind is sort of disjointed.


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Re: Frustration galore REVISED
by grandpaw7 / July 5, 2004 2:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Frustration galore

Since AVG6 is of no help with Hotmail emails, whether I download them in Hotmail or OE, I need to get something else. It looks like Norton is the best one for me since it apparently will get rid of or alert me to viruses when I open emails in Hotmail. Right?

I know from what Grif says that Norton may miss something since it scan while downloading, and if I want to be more secure I need to move the emails to a separate folder and then scan them before downloading. And I presume Norton will do this for me, right?

I also presume that when Norton scans emails that includes attachments.

I presume that the reason that I don't get a scan option when I right click is that AVG doesn't scan for OE or Hotmail, though I stil don't understand why I never get that option no matter what I have open.

I'm amazed at how hard it is to find out what email clients the different antivirus programs scan for, that is, if you don't have Grif to tell you.

Cnet reviews says that if you have Norton 2002 you don't need to upgrade to 2003, and that if you have 2003 you don't need to upgrade to 2004, because the changes are so minor. So I guess if I can get 2002 for a good bit cheaper than 2004, that would be safe.

I couldn't tell if I have to pay Norton periodically to update.

I'd appreciate any comments. Thanks, grandpaw

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Free AVG and OE was deeply discussed.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 5, 2004 2:56 AM PDT

Over in the Security Forum a few months back. What confused many was the OE support wrote version 5, but does work fine in 6. Some don't know to turn it on.

"AVG free version

Go to the AVG control centre (either directly from the icon on your task bar or from your main AVG window - Program (top left) /AVG Control Centre/ email scanner/advanced settings.

Be sure to tick the "Use Outlook Express plugin box above "Advanced settings" or it won't work.

Posted by: Basil Posted on: 01/29/2004"

The full discussion found it does work well in Express on both outgoing and incoming.


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Thanks, Bob
by grandpaw7 / July 6, 2004 2:36 AM PDT

This points out the problem of knowing for sure what a particular antivirus program will do for you. The FAQ in the AVG website says that the free program supports only Outloo, yet there is this Outlook Express 5.0 button on the AVG Run page. I presume the answer is that, as I think Grif was saying, that AVG Free scans OE differently and perhaps not as thoroughly as it does Outlook. I was amazed when I looked at the websites of Norton and McAfee and one or two others at my inability to be sure what email programs they support; I expect it's there some place, but when they advertise that their product scans email, with no further explanation except perhaps in an entirely different place, that's deceptive.

I did read that thread on the Security Forum. Maybe the Forum Moderator should occasionally remind folks to use the forum seach engine before posting.

I still am not sure whether "scans incoming and outgoing emails" includes attachments, or what this business of scanning by right clicking is about, but then there is so much I don't know about computers that a little more won't be noticed.

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Re: Frustration galore REVISED
by Larry38 / July 5, 2004 6:56 AM PDT

Hi grandpaw7,
I have Norton 2003 that came on my pc as a 90 day trial, I think I paid $19.00 to have it updated for a year. I also have AVG6 Free and I use Yahoo Mail Plus and Hotmail.
I don't use OE6 much, but have the Preview Pane disabled so it won't open and when I get any e-mail in OE6 I forward it to my Yahoo mail and the Norton window will popup and scan it as it is forwarded then I go to Yahoo and read it. This may not be 100% secure, but it works for me.

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Thanks, Larry38
by grandpaw7 / July 6, 2004 2:24 AM PDT

I'm still mulling over what to do but I'm glad to get info like that. grandpaw

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Re: Frustration galore REVISED
by glenn30 / July 5, 2004 7:38 AM PDT

Grandpaw7, not a real Hotmail expert here but I just received notice that Hotmail is being updated with new features within the next two weeks. One of these is automatic scanning of e-mail... incoming and outgoing.

Maybe this will be of help to you.

Best of luck!


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Thanks, Glenn
by grandpaw7 / July 6, 2004 2:22 AM PDT

Thanks for the heads up. I'm still mulling over what to do but I need to keep that in mind since I have liked Hotmail a lot and am used to it. Reading Hotmail in OE is a much slower process. I'm sure that there will be valid complaints that the Hotmail scanning has holes in it, but so does most things I do. grandpaw

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 6, 2004 2:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks, Glenn

Much like the physical world, even a solid slab of armor grade steel has holes in it at the atomic level. Hydrogen atoms slowly seep through.

Take it with a philosophical outlook that nothing will be without holes. It is much like trying to find the bug free application or your perfect companion. One has to take what seems best at the time or just do without.


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by grandpaw7 / July 6, 2004 7:00 AM PDT
In reply to: Holes.

No point being like the guy who spent so much time fixing up his car that he didn't have time to drive it. grandpaw

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(NT) (NT) Grandpaw, know what you mean... same feeling here :)
by glenn30 / July 6, 2004 5:20 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks, Glenn
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