Why Some Users Don’t Use E-mail Scanner?
People believe that e-mail scanner is not needed because the on-access (real-time) protection by effective anti-virus should be able to catch or detect any malware attachments that arrived in e-mail. Others are relying to junk mail filters of the e-mail client to prevent or move the unwanted messages (phishing and suspicious e-mail attachments). There are people who also rely on the new security settings in the e-mail programs. Example: Windows Mail will warn you if another application is sending e-mail as you and; disable attachments to be saved or opened that could be potentially virus. Most end-users and business users is also using extra pre-caution by allowing their ISP’s to scan the e-mails in the server before it will reach their inbox. Another pre-caution is to configure the email program to display all messages in plain text or block images and external content of HTML e-mails. One more method to not to receive bad messages or malware spam is to use MailWasher, ePrompter, POP Peeper or delete the unwanted emails from the server using a browser.
Do you think the above settings or policies means an e-mail scanner is no use anymore?
Your answer might be a yes but some will say no especially if they are aware of the risks of turning off e-mail scanner or have been a victim of spambot malware. E-mail virus is a threat and that is a fact. It does affect many users when they become a victim of botnets or their PC becomes part of the botnets without their knowledge. An example is Pushdo/Cutwail spambot and some spam botnets that is putting many PCs at risk (also your contacts). You can read more about it in the following articles:
The above is one example of many botnets but if you want more information, I suggest reading more about the Formation and exploitation of a botnets.
Recommendation: Botnets do not only carry out coordinated security attacks but can also send spam. If your anti-virus is offering e-mail protection against spam, phishing and other attacks from/to e-mail, I suggest taking advantage of it. E-mail Scanners will not only scan attachments but it can also decrypt messages for file scanner to scan successfully and it can monitor the system against botnet-behaviour by monitoring POP and SMTP ports.
Tips: Some free anti-virus program includes email protection. For example, a free edition of AVG, Avast and PC Tools is offering e-mail guard or protection. The free antivirus by Avira (AntiVir PE), Microsoft (Security Essentials) and Panda (Cloud AV) do not offer e-mail protection but the program will scan the attachments for malware or when it is saved in the hard-disk. Don’t be confused with virus scanning for e-mail attachments which is different from e-mail plugin’s usage or advantage of using e-mail plug-in.