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I have a business that runs Outlook Express and recently they got hit by the latest 2013 fake AV scareware. They do have some type of version of Symantec AV installed but it has failed despite always being updated.

My questions are:

What is a free AV or protection service that would plug in to Outlook Express and protect from threats and block them from executing?

Are there certain ways Outlook Express should be configured and setup for added protection?

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Your first question is about a product recommendation, which is off-topic as per the FAQ. I'm sure you can easily find a list of the top free AVs (shouldn't be too many) and check which ones still support the outdated Outlook Express. – Karan May 23 '13 at 22:21
The best advice is stop using a decade old piece of software that has not been supported for over 5 years. Besides if your being hit by that malware it WAS NOT through email but through BROWSING HABITS THROUGH A BROWSER. – Ramhound May 24 '13 at 0:28
up vote 0 down vote accepted

This is going to evolve into a "Don't use this, use that" AV. However, I use AVG Free Edition and I haven't been hit by any virus' recently (incoming Murphey's Law). It scans most files as they are executed and has saved me in the past. Alternately if you MUST have it plug into outlook, You could look into paid versions of AVG, or Avast, or Avira AV. Best of luck

If you need something to kill the nasty rootkits let me know.

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As far as I know, basically every antivirus software has some form of email traffic protection, through the relative protocols. For example, in my Windows system I use Avast and it has this feature, but I think that you can safely choose the one of your liking.
You can also consider using a more recent and supported client.

To be protected from malicious email (or every other form of computer related threat), your best ally is to know what you are doing and act in the most safe way in every circumstance, because usually the weak point is the human using the machine. Don't execute any software that you don't know about, don't open suspect emails, don't be fooled by phishing to give out your sensible data, and so on.

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