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Using Yahoo Mail to check for a virus

See also this page for instructions on using the Yahoo address Book

See also this page for using Yahoo to view your main e-mail account.

What are we talking about?

Why would I want to do this?

How do I do it?

One really nice feature of Yahoo mail is the ability to avoid a virus. This is getting more valuable today with the rash of virus' infecting our computers. If you use Outlook Express, you are subject to a virus even if you are running an up to date anti virus program. I know many will take exception to this, but I just had it happen to a client. Due to receiving a virus, we upgraded the motherboard and using the old drive, we formatted the drive, reinstalled Win 98, installed Norton Anti-virus, updated it and then set up Outlook Express to access the clients e-mail on Via West, our local ISP. As we were downloading the 100 plus messages, Norton flagged us that it found a virus in windows files. We quarantined them as they came up, but apparently by the time Norton identified them, the damage was already done requiring a new reformat and start over.

Even if you use AOL or CompuServe for e-mail, you are still not protected. You must scan an attachment before opening it and you cannot do that in most programs. If you forward any e-mail with an attachment to a Yahoo account, you can scan it there before opening it.

In order to delete the damaging e-mail's in the example above, (most of the 100 contained a virus), we set up a new Yahoo e-mail account, pulled the e-mail from the Via West account (as explained here) and deleted them. The advantage of doing this is that the mail pulled into the Yahoo account cannot infect your computer since the message is not in your computer. You can also check the attachments before opening them. I'll explain the process here.

First, you need to set up a Yahoo account. Second you need to set the options to pull mail from your regular account. (Instructions here). Then you are ready to look at the messages.

The first window you see in the Yahoo Inbox will have a list of the messages you have. Messages with an attachment will display a paperclip next to the file size as shown in the example below:

To view a message, click on the Subject. The message will display in a new window. Note: YOU WILL NOT GET INFECTED WITH A VIRUS BY DOING THIS AS YOU CAN WITH OUTLOOK EXPRESS. This process does not open an attachment. This is what one message looks like:

Notice there are 2 places that say "Download". The link "Download Attachments" at the top of the message and the "Download File" at the bottom. DO NOT CLICK THE BOTTOM ONE. Click the upper one that says "Download Attachments". You should get a new window like this:

This lists the files attached and includes the option to "Scan With Norton Antivirus". Click this option and watch what happens. If you have a virus, you will see this message:

Sometimes, the message says "Cleaned". Don't trust it. Go back to message and DELETE IT. If there is no virus, then and only then is it safe to download the attachment. The advantage of this system is that it uses the latest virus data files. Always up to date. And NOTHING gets into your computer.

 

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