Of all spam-messages I get, how can I tell which are dangerous and contain Trojans before I open them to read?

Posted on 2011-10-19
Last Modified: 2013-11-22
Of all spam-messages I get, how can I tell which are dangerous and contain Trojans before I open them to read? I got 16 e-mails to my business mail that contained Trojans according to my ESET Smart Security. But must I always rely only on ESET Smart Security that it always detects a Trojan in any e-mail? Shouldn't I use several anti-virus, and anti-virus specifically for e-mails, to scan each e-mail before opening one?
Question by:hermesalpha
    LVL 38

    Assisted Solution

    "Shouldn't I use several anti-virus, and anti-virus specifically for e-mails, to scan each e-mail before opening one?"

    No. In most instances, multiple AV applications will conflict with each other and you should only be running one on your system.

    What you can do is make sure that you are running 'on-access' anti-virus in order that the attachment will be scanned when you open it.

    Also keep in mind that "false positives" are fairly common with some AV programs. I've never used ESET and am not familar with its history in that regard.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    The bad part about using several anti-viruses is that they can correspond with eachother and counteract what the other one is trying to do. A lot of times they will both miss the virus because they are both trying to fight eachotehr to solve your pc virus problems. you should always use only 1 anti-virus. If you get a reliable one like symantic or norton or mcafee they are really good at detecting those. you can also install a program called "malwarebytes" to detect other spyware that the anti-virus would not detect.
    LVL 29

    Assisted Solution

    by:Sudeep Sharma
    Which version of ESET Smart Security are you using? v4 or v5?

    Both has the capability of scanning the email messages from the email clients and also has the ability to scan the POP3.

    I believe it is doing the task which it has to do by scanning the messages and let you know which one contains the Virus/Worm/Trojan/Malware.

    If you would want that you should only be receiving the genuine emails and not the infected one then you might have to think about an gateway level device which does the AV scanning of the emails before it could be reached to your computer.

    Though Younhv is also right that ESET give lots of false positive.
    LVL 4

    Assisted Solution

    Yea i agree with Sharma you need to be able to let your anti-virus know which ones you are not wanting to recieve. If you are going to a lot of sites that are unsafe for your anti-virus then it should be known if you want to keep some of those sites you are going too. The anti-virus is letting you know what sites they believe are harfmful even if they are not. I would really invest in getting a better anti-virus as well as a malwarebytes scanner to further the process of being more sure. I would not invest in getting multiple antiviruses tho. Symantic as well as kerbersky are the best that i know that affiliates with emails.

    Author Comment

    So ESET Smart Security doesn't rank high compared to other AV in your opinions? The reason I've used ESET Smart Security so far is that my laptop only has Intel Celeron and many other AV take too much resources of the system (ESET is economical on system resources).

    I'm about to buy a new laptop (Lenovo ThinkPad E420) so I might change AV then. Which would be the best of Symantec, Kaspersky, Norton and McAfee?

    I have Malwarebytes and have used it for scanning my laptop. But does it work in real-time also so I can get e-mails automatically scanned when they reach my inbox?

    I'm using version 3.0.695.0 of ESET Smart Security now. The reason that I don't update to version 5 is that it conflicts with the Password.exe for my two external harddrives (Freecom Toughdrive, 250 GB each). Although it might be worth removing the password so I can update to version 5 (will keep my old laptop for a while even when I've bought the new one).

    SSharma, could you explain what a gatelevel device is? Would I need my own server to implement that solution?

    LVL 38

    Accepted Solution

    <<Of all spam-messages I get, how can I tell which are dangerous and contain Trojans before I open them to read?>>

    The old rule about not opening any email messages from people you don't know (SPAM) still applies. Email has always been one of the primary sources of malware infection and you need to be very conservative in you approach to reading messages.

    <<Which would be the best of Symantec, Kaspersky, Norton and McAfee?>>

    None of the above. I recommend Microsoft Security Essentials combined with Malwarebytes (Pro) - details in this EE Article:
    MALWARE - "An Ounce of Prevention..."


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