Open that strange attachment in your Hotmail e-mail and your computer may be infected with a virus, a nasty piece of software that may corrupt your computer data, delete files or send your personal information to a hacker. Employ a combination of proactive protection measures and post-virus removal techniques to guard your computer against any viruses hiding in your Hotmail Inbox.
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Things you need
- Virus scanning software
Avoid opening e-mails from suspicious sources or with unrecognisable text in the "From" or "Subject" headings. And never open attachments that you are not expecting, even if they appear to be from a friend, without first confirming it with the sender to ensure that it is a legitimate attachment.
Check the top of the Hotmail page when opening an attachment. MSN Hotmail employs a free virus scanner that scans all attachments when you try to open them. If you try to open an attachment with a Hotmail virus, the website will alert you to the danger. Press "Delete" immediately.
Click "Deleted" in the left column of Hotmail after deleting a virus-ridden e-mail. A page showing your deleted e-mails will appear. Push the "Empty" button at the top of the page to permanently remove all of your deleted e-mails to prevent accidentally moving the virus back into your Inbox.
Run a virus scan on your computer system if you open a strange attachment and suspect that a virus got through the Hotmail scanner. The scanner will identify and remove the virus if it has infected your machine. Virus scanning software is available at a cost from Norton and McAfee, while free alternatives can be downloaded from Avast and AVG. Consult your user manual for scanning procedures, as these vary widely by program.
Tips and warnings
- Keep your computer updated with the latest security patches from your operating system manufacturer. Viruses and other Malware often try to exploit security holes in an OS, and keeping it updated can help prevent some of these problems.
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