How to scan email attachments online for virus

Normally we all have an antivirus software resident on our computers to protect our data files from malware. We have been taught not to open attachments from unknown email addresses. But what if you want to get a second opinion about a suspicious email attachment? Can you scan the email attachment online for virus? This post tells you what to do if you need a third eye to check your email attachments.

How to scan email attachments for virus online

In case you receive an email from someone, and it sounds fishy, contact Virus Total for the screening of the attachment. The Virus Total Online Virus Checking is an attempt from VT (Virus Total) for a better Internet.

Scan email attachments using VirusTotal

You can send the email attachment to Virus Total at this ID of theirs: scan@virustotal.com

Virus Total will get the attachment scanned by different anti-malware software and send you information as a reply to your email to them. The information they’ll send will include results the attachment gets from different (and many) anti-virus programs.

Sending attachments to VirusTotal

Here is a step by step guide to scan email attachment online for the virus. You will have to create a message with scan@virustotal.com as the destination address.

  1. Save the suspected mail as attachment. On Outlook, right click on the item and select Save as Attachment and then select where you want to store the email
  2. Create a new email
  3. In the “To” field, type scan@virustotal.com
  4. If you want the Virus Total Online Scanner results in plain text, write SCAN in the subject line; if you need an XML version too, write SCAN+XML in the subject line
  5. Attach the email that you saved as an attachment
  6. Hit the Send button.

You can also forward an email you may have received with a suspicious attachment to scan@virustotal.com and write SCAN in the subject line.

The Reply from Virus Total will show you the results in the format you asked; It may take some time to reply if the load is high on their server. There is no need to resend the email.

How to scan email attachments for virus online

You can see details in the email. If you had selected SCAN+XML, you will get a plain text message and a XML coded page. If you opt for XML, it might take a few longer moments to process. You may have to wait a bit.

This explains how to scan email attachment online for viruses and other malware. If you have any problem while following the above steps, please comment below. If you know of any other entity that facilitates online scan of email attachments, please share using the comments section

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Arun Kumar is a Microsoft MVP alumnus, obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN

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