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Skype Hacks by Andrew Sheppard

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Hack #75. Scan Files Received via Skype for Viruses

Check files you receive via Skype file transfer immediately for viruses.

Works with: Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X versions of Skype.

File transfer using Skype is both simple and secure. Secure in the sense that files are transferred using end-to-end encryption, not in the sense that they are free from viruses.

You should never accept file transfers from strangers. But even receiving files from friends and contacts is not without some risk. Whoever is sending you a file might be doing so from a machine—unknown to them—that is infected with viruses. By sending you a file, they may unwittingly infect your machine too. Skype is well aware of this potential vector (means of infection) for viruses, and that is why the recipient of a file transfer always has the option of accepting or rejecting the file transfer. Moreover, Skype is quite explicit about the need to scan received files for viruses (see Figure 9-5).

Skype warns of the potential for infecting your machine with a virus by accepting a file transfer (Linux)

Figure 9-5. Skype warns of the potential for infecting your machine with a virus by accepting a file transfer (Linux)

Fortunately, scanning files for viruses and, in some cases, fixing them is easy with most of today's antivirus software. Most antivirus software has a nice GUI that allows you to scan your whole machine, or a specific file or folder. So, immediately after receiving any file, you should—before opening it—scan it for ...

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