Frequently Asked Questions

Virus FAQs

Email viruses are a fact of modern day life. If there are any questions that have not been answered below, please email them to  The information below apply only to those using the Department of Education (DOE) email within a NYCDOE facility.

Did I get a virus from my email?

The NYCDOE email system is protected by 6 different virus scanning engines that are constantly being updated for the latest virus information. However, if you use a non-DOE email system like Hotmail or Yahoo or your home ISP email, you open yourself and the DOE network to virus infection.

What can I do to protect myself from email viruses?

There are many steps you can take to help yourself:

  1. If you receive a suspicious email with an attachment or an unexpected email with an attachment, do not open the attachment. Delete it immediately.
  2. Protect your computer with an anti virus program and update the virus definitions regularly
  3. Do not reply to SPAM emails.
  4. If you receive an email and the from field shows it may be a "spoofed" email and should be opened carefully, especially if there is an attachment. Any email created by the NYCDOE email system will have a full name in the from field (i.e.: Doe John instead of

I received a administrator message that mail could not be delivered and I don't remember sending mail to this person.

These messages are being sent to you because someone you know or someone that has your information in their contact list is infected. The virus works by randomly selecting a name from the contact list, in this case yours, and then it sends out massive amounts of emails with that name as the sender (this is known as "spoofing"). If there is a bad address in the contact list then the "return to sender" message is sent back to you because the system thinks you sent the email. The only thing that you can do about these messages is to delete them.

What is spoofing?

Spoofing is when a virus sends an email in your name. Unfortunately there is nothing that can be done about spoofing except be more aware of it.

I think I have a virus, what should I do?

If you suspect that your computer may be infected by a virus, you should first unplug your network cable to prevent other computers from infection (The network cable looks like a large telephone cable) Then call the NYCDOE help desk at (718) 935-5100, the help desk agent will contact the proper personnel to help disinfect your computer.

I received an email that states that "The file attached to this email was removed because the file name is not allowed."

Certain file attachments with with the extensions .exe, .com, .pif and others that are executable are filtered and removed. This is done because many viruses propagate by sending infected executable files to the unsuspecting user community.

I am expecting a file attachment and the system said it was deleted because it is not allowed.

If you are expecting a legitimate email with a file type that is blocked, have the sender rename the file with a non-executable extension such as .txt and resend it to you. You will have to rename the file back to the original name before you can use it.

I received an email that has an attachment with a .txt extension that states that a file was quarantined.

The email contained an attachment that was infected with a known virus. The anti virus scanner removed the offending file and left the quarantine message to inform you that someone tried to send you an infected file.