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Which Email Attachments Are Generally Safe to Open?

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The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) states that most users contract viruses by opening and running unknown email attachments. This article will explain how to scan attachments on Windows 10 computers. It will also show you which email attachments are safe to open.

Spam-marked attachments to email should not be opened

Many email clients such as Gmail and Outlook scan email attachments for viruses automatically. The most suspicious emails are either deleted or moved to a folder called “Spam”.

You can open email messages safely. Spam emails contain links and attachments that you shouldn’t click.


If you don’t have the latest software, you won’t get viruses. In order to infect your computer, you must take action.

Only open attachments to emails from trusted sources

The Federal Bureau of Investigation warns against opening malicious email attachments.

Hackers could “spoof” email addresses to make it appear that they are from your boss, a relative or even a large corporation like Apple or Microsoft.

If you get an email from Amazon, such as @amazon.com , then the return email address must begin with @amazon.com . Do not open attachments if the sender is different or suspicious.


According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), it is possible to identify malicious emails by looking for spelling and grammar mistakes, messages addressed with the wrong name, and emails that don’t contain attachments.

Hackers could even gain control of email accounts and send malicious files directly to them

Only open attachments to email with secure file extensions

Once you are certain that the email is from a trusted sender, hover your mouse over the attachment to see the file’s extension. The last three or four letters after a period in a filename tells your computer which program can open it.


Images and video:

Email attachments containing images, videos or audio files are the most secure to open. Files with common extensions such as JPG, PNG, and GIF are also safe to open.

Remember that an image can be dangerous if it is not from the intended recipient

Office documents:

Microsoft Office documents may contain macro viruses. These viruses can be difficult to detect because they are written in the same language as Word Excel PowerPoint.

A macro that is not from a trusted location will not activate automatically. Microsoft advises against manually activating the macro unless you know what active content means.

(Image Source: Microsoft)

Executable files:

Executable file are the most dangerous type of files hackers attach to email messages. If it is opened on your computer, this type of file will almost certainly contain malware.

If you are using a Mac computer, DMG files should be considered. These files can be used to install malware.

Compressed Files

Not all compressed files can be opened. Many compressed files contain multiple files that you won’t notice until you open them.

You must be able to open compressed files that contain an EXE file.

Double Extensions – Never open email attachments

Email attachments can appear secure at first glance. You may think that email attachments are safe at first glance. It is the extension at the end of the file name that matters.

Double extension files are the most likely to contain viruses and should be avoided. How can you scan it?

How do you scan an email attachment in Windows 10

Download the attached file to scan it on Windows 10. Do not open the file. You will see the results in the Settings window’s top-right corner.

What should you do if you’ve opened a potentially dangerous attachment

If you accidentally open an attachment containing a potentially hazardous file extension, change your password immediately. They will investigate any suspicious charges.

It is crucial to immediately run your antivirus software after opening any potentially harmful attachments.

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