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To Scan Or Not To .. Email


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#1 boopme

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 07:13 PM

While I was looking at info regarding Emails that couldn't be restored from the(.dbx) folder,probably due to file corruption. I came across this m$ft article on the most common causes of said file corruption. 1. You're AV scanning your emails and 2. the compaction process itself, the latter being repaired in XP/SP2. My question is do you agree with the idea of turning off the Email scan? It makes sense to me but I'd prefer to hear if some of our (BC's) experts agree before I do so.

Here are the excerpts and link to the article.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/IE/commun...corruption.mspx

Viral Irony: The Most Common Cause of Corruption
When encountering the symptoms of DBX corruption, many people immediately fear that their computer is infected with a virus. As surprising and ironic as it may seem

though, the most common cause of DBX corruption is not a virus, but rather anti-virus programs that are configured to scan incoming or outgoing e-mail. Even the

most well-known anti-virus programs have exhibited this problem from time to time. To lessen the risk of such corruption you should disable the e-mail scanning

module in your anti-virus program. This is usually easy to do by looking at the user-configurable options in the anti-virus program. It is not at all necessary to scan

e-mail for viruses to protect your computer.

Now before you dismiss me as mad, let me explain why e-mail scanning is unnecessary. Almost every anti-virus program for Windows installs by default a system scan

that runs in the background every time Windows starts. This scan is necessary to protect your computer. If you receive a virus in an e-mail attachment, the virus

cannot do anything at all until you actually open the attachment. At that time Outlook Express extracts the attachment from the message and saves it to the

Temporary Internet Files folder on your hard disk and attempts to open the file. And it is precisely at that moment that a background system scan will detect the virus,

provided it is able to do so, and stop the virus from executing. The system scan will usually delete the infected file from the Temporary Internet Files folder, or else

move it to quarantine. To remove the infected e-mail message in Outlook Express, simply hold the Shift key while you press the Delete key. That's all it takes to keep

your computer safe, both from e-mail viruses and e-mail anti-virus scanners. Scanning e-mail as it arrives therefore adds nothing to your level of protection. It might

indeed make you feel more protected, but that feeling is an illusion. If the system scan is unable to detect the virus, the e-mail scan will fail to do so also.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
When the Cure Kills: Compacting and Corruption
As stated earlier, compacting all folders in Outlook Express frequently repairs mild corruption. But surprisingly enough, and again as ironic as it seems, the compaction

process itself has also been implicated in causing corruption. Before Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), Outlook Express was configured by default to compact files

automatically after Outlook Express had been inactive for some minutes. However, although Outlook Express might have been inactive, the same could not always be

said for other programs being used when compaction began. On some systems, particularly those with limited amounts of RAM or slow processors, the sudden drain

on computer resources sometimes caused the compaction process to hiccough, and all too often a damaged DBX was the result.

It is largely for this reason that the background compaction feature has been removed in Windows XP SP2. Now Outlook Express will compact automatically only after

you have opened and closed Outlook Express 100 times. It will do so not in the background, when you might be busy doing other things on the computer, but rather

when you close Outlook Express for that 100th time. Do not cancel this compaction, nor use your computer until it is finished. For best results however, you should still

compact all folders on a regular basis, such as weekly or bi-weekly.

If you have not installed Windows XP SP2, you should disable the background compaction to lessen the chance of it damaging your files. To do so:

1.
Click Options on the Outlook Express Tools menu.

2.
Click the Maintenance tab.

3.
Clear the checkbox for "Compact messages automatically in the background".

4.
Click OK.


Mod Edit: Quoted text exerpt taken from Microsoft article.

Edited by Scarlett, 17 March 2006 - 09:53 PM.

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#2 Mr Alpha

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 08:21 PM

This is the reason I don't use email scanning, and never have. I haven't yet been infected with a virus from an email.
"Anyone who cannot form a community with others, or who does not need to because he is self-sufficient [...] is either a beast or a god." Aristotle
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#3 jgweed

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 09:00 PM

The author makes assumptions about how your AV is configured, as well as about the timing of opening attachments vis-a-vis your AV scan that may not fit every case. One may disable E-mail scanning, I suggest, under two circumstances:
1. Your E-mail provider scans attachments as a matter of course before dropping them into your in-box. AND
2. Every person using your computer knows and follows best security practices when reading E-mails and opening attachments.

A simpler solution to the compaction problem would be to use something other than MS OE or Outlook. Alternate applications do not seem to have the same problem.

Regards,
John

Edited by jgweed, 18 March 2006 - 04:35 PM.

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#4 boopme

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 11:13 PM

Thank you for your replies. It is appreciated.
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