I've just received an email from an old employer. There is very little information in the message sent just:

See attached file for your review.

Kind regards, Mick

with an attachment. I would like to validate the email attachment but I am afraid by clicking on it I will inadvertently download something malicious.

I've read about downloading a virtual machine to open it for me but I don't want to download that on the work PC. Is there another way check?

  • you could scan the file with your work PC's anti-virus or upload to an online virus scanner like virustotal?
    – schroeder
    Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 3:11
  • Hey thanks ive been looking into that, but ive Norton doesnt seem to have a smiple scan file before downloading function
    – keith
    Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 3:29
  • Ah. You want something to scan before you download. This might not be necessary. It's ok to download as long as you do not open. Run Norton as normal.
    – schroeder
    Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 4:14
  • Thanks champ, I ve manage to find out that Norton has a email protection built in, whether it has actually worked time will tell, as for the attachment it was spam.
    – keith
    Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 4:42

2 Answers 2


Virus Total and malwr and both good sites to submit suspicious files. Virus total will tell you if the file is flagged by any antivirus. Malwr will give you more detailed analysis (this may/may not be of interest to you).

Note that you're submitting files to an online community, so don't submit anything that is potentially proprietary/secret.

  • malwr is currently, as at comment date, unavailable. Commented May 20, 2019 at 11:52

The easiest way is to ring your ex-employer and ask them is they sent you the email.

If they say no, then you know it is a virus or similar and delete it with no further thought.

If they say yes then you can go ahead and scan the attachment for a virus.

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