Receiving Documents with Possible Viruses


Hi everybody,

I was wondering what some of you do about receiving documents from customers. I received a document to review and the next day my computer crashed. It is very possible the document contained a virus.

I ended up asking for a mutual cancellation because I did not want to open the documents on my other computers an risk possibly infecting another one. I am not saying I am positive the document had a virus nor do I think it was done maliciously but better safe that sorry.

Other than using a program to scan documents how do you guys receive documents to proof or edit to ensure you don’t also receive a virus?

Thanks in advance



Well actually you can use VirusTotal service. It scans file using all known anti virus programs. Its totally online and helps alot. You can google for it as posting outside links are not allowed here.


Definitely always use virus software. Avast is good free software if you don’t want to pay for it. Rarely do I receive files from customers and usually they are MP3s or other types of audio file, which in themselves cannot contain viruses — however it’s still as well to be wary in case a file is named one way but is actually something else.


Reply to @londonblue: Well, every file type can be binded with a virus files. A user with malicious intent can bind a virus or a RAT with the mp3 file and send. When the target user clicks to play the mp3, both the mp3 as well as the virus gets executed. The user may not suspect as the mp3 plays music but in the background the virus has already made itself at home.


I always scan the documents I receive and/or send out before opening them/sending them.

Sometimes the person doesn’t even know they have a virus. Just have a good antivirus installed - I use AVAST and it works a charm.

Also, be careful to always have a restore point done every few weeks, so you won’t spend much time with repairing damage done by a virus.


Reply to @mcromano: Thanks for the tips, you live and learn Right now it lloks like I will be replacing my computer, gives me an excuse to get a new one LOL.

I read that .rtf documents are supposed to be secure. I also remember when I used to hang out on the writer’s forums and we exchanged material for critique many people would only accept .rtf documents. Does anyone know more about this?


This is why I really don’t like to accept attachments.


I scan all documents with Avast before opening them.


Reply to @ellenwright:

Here is an article about .doc and rtf formats. We do need to take care.


scan all documents before open


Reply to @writeforfun: LOL can’t include the link