The information below explains what a virus is and how it affects you. In addition, there are tips and tools for avoiding, detecting, and eliminating viruses.
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 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.
Note: 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.
Ways to Protect from 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 avoid receiving a virus.
- Do not open an email attachment if the sender is unknown, 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.
If your computer becomes infected with a virus, 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 forward the email virus as an attachment to Cox at VirusReport@cox.net for review. We will work with our partners to ensure that this type of virus is detected in the future.