EarthLink Virus Blocker
Viruses love to spread through infected email messages.
But Virus Blocker scans your
incoming email for viruses, keeping them out
of your Inbox. Virus Blocker is automatically on, so you're already getting this protection.
Though we don't recommend it, you can turn Virus Blocker off: Click the Preferences link, then choose Virus Blocker and click Turn OFF Virus Blocker.
- Using Virus Blocker with your
- How Virus Blocker Handles Infected
- Emergency Mode
- Using Virus Blocker with your
- What are "Viruses"?
Using Virus Blocker
with Your Email Program
Virus Blocker does not affect the way your email program
works. If you are using EarthLink Web Mail, there will
be an icon next to each message in your Inbox that has
been affected by Virus Blocker:
A virus was found in this message and successfully
This is an EarthLink system message to let you know
that a message could not be cleaned. It has been deleted
How Virus Blocker
Handles Infected Messages
Virus Blocker works behind the scenes scanning your
incoming email for viruses. If a message is infected,
Virus Blocker takes one of three actions:
Viruses from Attachments and Message Headers
Sometimes viruses attach themselves to email
messages that others send you. Often Virus Blocker will
be able to remove, or "clean", a virus from an infected
message and pass it on to your Inbox. A note will be
inserted at the top of your message indicating that
it was cleaned by Virus Blocker.
Messages that Can't Be Cleaned
When you receive a legitimate message that
can't be cleaned, it's moved to a special Quarantine
folder on EarthLink's email system. When this
happens, Virus Blocker will send you an email indicating
that a message has been quarantined (including message
details). Note: Quarantined
messages are automatically deleted three days after
they are received.
When a message is quarantined, the best action is to
let the sender know that a virus was found in the message
they sent to you, and ask them to send a new, clean,
If you have anti-virus software installed on your computer,
you may want to download a quarantined message. You
should be very careful when reading messages that have
been quarantined, as some viruses hide in the headers
of a message, so all you have to do is open the message
to activate the virus.
To download quarantined messages
- Sign in to Web Mail.
- Click the Virus Blocker folder near your Inbox and other email folders (this folder appears only if you have quarantined messages).
- Move the messages into your Inbox folder.
- Check your email using your desktop email program.
Deletes Certain Messages
Some viruses "breed" by sending copies of themselves via email. These messages are fakes; they have some nonsense in the message body, and an attachment containing the virus. They are tricky, because they appear to be sent by someone you know! Virus Blocker spots these messages right away, and deletes them before you ever see them.
Virus Blocker will send you an email indicating that an infected message has been deleted, including message details so you can tell who sent the message and when. If it's somebody you know, you can let them know they've been infected. They probably have no idea! If you get more than one of the infected messages from the same sender, you will still only get one notification message.
In the case of a massive virus outbreak Virus Blocker
will go into Emergency Mode. This helps protect your
EarthLink connection from being slowed down or even
shut down because of all the Internet traffic caused
by an outbreak. Here's how Emergency Mode affects your
- During Emergency Mode, Virus Blocker will scan all
incoming messages, regardless of your Virus Blocker
- If you have Virus Blocker turned off, Emergency
Mode will only scan for the virus that is causing
- During Emergency Mode, Virus Blocker will delete
any messages containing the virus causing the outbreak,
but you won't receive any email from EarthLink about
- As soon as the outbreak has been contained, Emergency
Mode will be turned off.
Using Virus Blocker
With Your EarthLink Profile
EarthLink Virus Blocker is designed to work smoothly
with the other features of your EarthLink account. However,
there are a few things to take into account when using
If you choose to save a copy of forwarded email,
only "clean" messages will be forwarded, including messages
that had a virus removed by Virus Blocker. System messages
(including quarantine messages) will be saved but not
If you choose to not save a copy on the server, then
only "clean" messages will be forwarded. All infected
messages, including those that would normally be
quarantined, are deleted. No system messages will
When a virus is deleted or quarantined, a vacation
message will not be sent to the person who sent the
infected message. Otherwise, vacation messaging will
work as normal when Virus Blocker is turned on.
spamBlocker works as usual on messages that are clean,
or that have been cleaned by Virus Blocker.
If a message is deleted or quarantined, you
will still get a message about it from EarthLink, no
matter who sent the infected message. Even if they are
not in your Address Book and spamBlocker is set to Highest
EarthLink won't send you notification about
infected Known spam. If an infected
Known spam can be cleaned, it will
be cleaned and then put in your Known spam folder.
If it can't be cleaned, infected Known spam
will be deleted or quarantined.
If any attachment to a message can't
be cleaned by Virus Blocker, the entire message will
be quarantined or deleted.
What are "Viruses"?
"Virus" is a generic term that lumps together several
types of malicious computer programs:
and Trojan Horses
Trojan horses are imposters. They have a file
name that sounds like something you want, like a game
or picture, but they are really a program designed to
do something bad to your computer.
A "worm" is a program that breeds, sending
itself from computer to computer usually via email.
Anybody who accidentally runs the worm file activates
it on their computer, causing the worm to send itself
to a whole new batch of computers. Some Trojan horses
are also worms!
Unlike a true virus, worms and Trojan horses are not
attached to legitimate messages. The message a worm
is attached to is usually gibberish, but it will have
an enticing Subject and may have been sent by somebody
True viruses are devious little programs
that can "live" inside other programs-- programs you
use. Because viruses can masquerade as useful programs,
you can never trust a program that you receive from
someone you don't know. You may install a program and
use it, but later discover that there was a virus inside
and your computer is now infected!
Email messages today can contain entire Web
pages, complete with pictures and colors and things
that move. Usually, this makes email more interesting
and fun and useful. Unfortunately, it also means that
VBScript, or Active X) to messages, designed to annoy,
or even harm your computer. This type of malicious program
takes advantage of security holes in your web browser
or email program.