How to get rid of a hotmail virus

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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.

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.