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7.13   Does SpamSieve protect me from viruses?

Computer viruses generally do not cause problems for Mac users because there is no automated way for them to execute their malicious code. If you receive a virus in an e-mail attachment, it will not do anything if the message is just sitting in your inbox. Even opening the attached file is not, by itself, dangerous because Mac OS X will not execute code from a single file. You would need to, for example, decompress the ZIP archive and then double-click the extracted .app file. Even if you do all this, the Mac is likely to warn you that you are launching an unknown application.

SpamSieve will generally classify messages with viruses as spam and move them to the Spam mailbox. This will prevent them from cluttering your inbox and provide some protection if you access your mail on a Windows PC (where attached .exe files can more easily cause harm).

If you are running anti-virus software, it is normal for it to find viruses in your Spam mailbox and in SpamSieve’s False Negatives folder (if you’ve enabled the Save false negatives to disk preference). You can safely ignore these warnings because the viruses are embedded in the e-mail messages and are inert.

SpamSieve also protects you against Web bugs. By telling the mail client that a message is spam, it prevents the client from displaying remote images that can be used to track you.

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