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Anti-Virus Resource Center

Last Updated: Fri, 20 Mar 2015 > Related Articles

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Learn about our anti-virus resources, available for both Windows and Mac systems.


The below information explains what a virus is and how it affects you. In addition, there are tips and tools for avoiding, detecting, and eliminating viruses.

For more information, see View Virus Threat Maps With McAfee Security Center.

Computer Virus Types

There are three main types of computer viruses.

  • Viruses are programs that attempt to cripple your computer by infecting critical files and spreading to others. It might change files or perform unwanted functions such as erasing your hard drive.
  • Trojan Horses leave your computer accessible for other people to use. Once a Trojan Horse installs, it may bounce through your machine as a way to cover its tracks and do other damage. A Trojan Horse gives hackers access to any information stored on your hard drive, enabling them to read your files and personal information or to use your computer to store data, send email, and the like.
  • Worms travel from system to system, gather information, and then send it on, while also doing collateral damage along the way.

The War on Viruses

Cox WebMail provides built-in anti-virus protection to help defend Cox High Speed Internet customers from receiving hazardous computer viruses through email. This free service is automatically active without requiring installation. Customers do not need to contact Cox in order to benefit from this service. This anti-virus protection works in the following ways.

  • All messages sent to Cox customer email accounts on the cox.net domain, meaning email addresses ending with @cox.net, are checked for viruses before being delivered to WebMail or email client inboxes.
  • If a known virus is detected, the service silently discards the entire email. Cox used to notify senders about discarded messages as a result of virus detection, but discontinued this notification process based on customer feedback.
  • Cox does not read the content or text of your email. This automated solution only detects known viruses.

Although the Cox anti-virus solution provides protection against viruses transmitted by email, we still recommend the use of anti-virus software on your computer to protect you from viruses transmitted through websites, Internet downloads, discs, and portable drives.

Note: The email virus protection service doesn't prevent downloading of virus-infected files, nor will it remove viruses already present on your computer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I avoid getting viruses?

Viruses are designed not only to infect you, but also to spread themselves. Some viruses read your email address book and then email themselves to every listed contact. Other viruses attach themselves to every outgoing email. Below are a few simple steps to help you avoid receiving a virus.

  • Do not open an email attachment if you do not know the sender, or if the message text or attachment name seems odd.
  • Scan all attachments and files you receive with an up-to-date anti-virus program.
  • Do not download files from unfamiliar sites or sites that appear questionable.

What can I do if I get virus?

Do as little as possible on your computer because every click could spread the infected program. Immediately update your anti-virus software, and run a full virus scan on your computer. If your virus scanning software is properly updated it should remove the infected files.

In the event you receive an email that contains a virus, you can send it to Cox for review. We will work with our partners to ensure that this type of virus is detected in the future.

To submit an email for review, forward the email virus as an attachment to VirusReport@cox.net.

Note:All suspect and false positive emails must be forwarded as an attachment.

How do I automatically delete Virus Notifications?

Most email software can be configured to automatically delete virus notifications. This can be done by setting up specific rules within your email software.

Is Cox also offering anti-virus protection?

Yes. Cox has implemented email anti-virus filters that help to protect you from destructive Internet viruses that spread through email. Our email anti-virus system scans and cleans messages sent to you in email, removing known viruses that may be attached.

Cox has taken steps to address the issue of spam and how to prevent it through the following measures:

  • Protecting privacy - Cox does not sell customer email addresses. We value our customers, and their privacy is important to us.
  • Blocking known viruses - The Abuse Team monitors the network daily for any signs of viruses. When a new virus is detected, the Abuse Team immediately looks at implementing filters on our servers to prevent the spread of the virus.
  • Monitoring the network - If a virus is detected within the high-speed Internet network, the Abuse Team scans the network for customers that are possibly infected. If an infected customer is identified, the Abuse Team temporarily suspends the customer to prevent further spread of the virus, and to protect the customer from becoming a victim of the virus creator.
  • Blocking commonly used ports - Filtering port 25 drastically reduces the number of infected emails from customer computers. Cox took this action to ensure that a few bulk emailers, or virus disseminators, did not result in the entire Cox.net domain being blacklisted by other Internet Service Providers (ISP).

Note: The Cox Email Anti-virus Protection is not a replacement for your current anti-virus solution, but is an additional layer of protection.

How does anti-virus protection work?

  • All messages sent to Cox customer email accounts on the cox.net domain, meaning email addresses ending in @cox.net, are checked for viruses before being delivered to the customer inbox or WebMail.
  • If a known virus is detected within an email, the service removes the infected attachment. The rest of the message is then delivered along with a notification stating the infected attachment was removed.
  • If an infected attachment is detected but cannot be removed, the service deletes the entire email message and sends a notification explaining the email was removed. The email notification message is sent from the Cox Virus Monitor.
  • If an outgoing email message contains a virus-infected attachment, the message will not be delivered. This will help prevent spreading the virus to friends and family. The customer is notified that the email message was not sent to its destination.

Cox does not read customer email messages. This automated solution only detects known viruses.

Although the new Cox Anti-Virus Protection provides protection against viruses transmitted by email, we still recommend the use of anti-virus software on customer computers. This will protect them from viruses transmitted through Internet sites, Internet downloads, discs, portable drives, and other mechanisms through which viruses spread. 

Note: Anti-Virus Protection does not prevent downloading of virus-infected files, nor will it remove viruses already present on a customer computer.

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