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Email virus

Email virus

Email virus definition

Email virus refers to a type of a computer virus that spreads via email messages. It can attach itself to an email message as a link or an attachment. An email virus can be difficult to stop as it replicates by sending copies of itself to every email in the victim’s address book.

See also: email spoofing, email hoax, email signature

Types of email virus

How does an email virus spread?

As an email virus can replicate, it often spreads by sending itself to everybody in the person’s address book. It often contains an attachment and a short message, urging the person to open the file.

How to prevent email viruses

  • Be careful with attachments. Before you open an email attachment, consider the circumstances the sender would send you this attachment.
  • Be careful with links. If an email contains links, especially shortened URLs, double check that the address is legitimate.
  • Don’t automatically trust emails. Viruses that spread through email may disguise themselves as messages from a friend. Don’t interact with the contents of the message just because you recognize the sender’s email address.
  • Look for clues. Email viruses may include vague subject lines, direct messages, and are usually very short.

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