Viruses, Worms, and Trojans! Today's computing environment has become a dangerous place for your data and your productivity. This is where Safe-mail helps.
Because of its widespread use, email has become one of the most popular avenues for virus virus contamination. However, as a Safe-mail user, you have closed that door. Will you still need an antivirus application for protection? Absolutely. Email is only one of the ways that a virus can gain access to your system.
But, what what are we talking about when we say computer virus?
What a virus is
First of all, let's make something clear. Biological viruses occur naturally. Computer viruses do NOT. A computer virus is a program created by programmer, usually for the purpose of causing damage of some kind. Over the past few years, another purpose has arisen: SPAM. There is a whole class of viruses that have been created for the purpose of harvesting email addresses for the purpose of spam.
Types of viruses
When we say 'computer virus' we are usually refering to one of three types of computer infection:
Biological viruses have been infecting humans since the dawn of humanity, but computer viruses have only been around for about twenty years. Like the biological kind, computer viruses latch onto working programs and use them to replicate themselves, sending versions of themselves over a local network or the Internet. In the process, a virus will often have done significant damage. The amount of damage is dependent on the malice and ingenuity of the virus programmer.
Unlike a virus, a worm doesn't need to attach itself to another program to multiply. Worms are designed to take advantage of security holes in an operating system. Once a worm has infected a system, they often use a computer's file transmission capability - usually through a network of some kind.
Worms often contain some kind of payload that is used to install something called a backdoor. A backdoor allows spammers to take over your computer and send junk email. Spammers often pay programmers to create worms to distribute their spam.
The best way to defend yourself against a worm is to keep your operating system up-to-date with the latest patches and security updates.
The term 'Trojan' comes from the story of the fall of the city of Troy. In the same way that Greek soldiers snuck into the city of Troy by hiding inside a statue of a horse, a computer trojan is a file that sneaks into your system because it appears to be benign and useful - but contains software that is malicious and destructive. Since they can't multiply without user help, Trojans are different from worms and viruses, but often just as harmful.
Trojans are usually attached to (or appear as) legitimate programs, or appear as a legitimate-seeming email attachment. Most of the viruses that are sent via email are trojans.
The best protection against a trojan is user awareness. If you do not open unusual attachments, they can't attack your computer. Be aware that trojans can come from a sender that you know and recognize. Because every attachment is scanned when it arrives in our servers, Safe-mail users are safe from all trojans. The only exception is for those trojans that have been created within the previous 24 hours. Files that have been downloaded from services such as Kazaa or Gnutella often contain trojans, because file-sharing services are a popular method for spreading Trojan programs.
How We Protect You
Server Level Protection
Safe-mail servers run under Linux, which is invulnerable to virus attack if two things are true:
User Level Protection
Every message entering the Safe-mail system is thoroughly scanned. Every message that contains a virus will be automatically deleted. Virus protection operates at the server level which means that there is nothing to touch - Nothing to configure, nothing to update, and nothing to adjust. Your email virus protection works all the time and everywhere.
New Viruses appears all the time. Although Safe-mail updates the Viruses table every hour, there is a chance that new virus will be able to get in. We recommended therefore to always check if the sender is known to you and to take extra precautions especially with attachments.