One of the many features offered to all users of the Avast Free Antivirus software is a fully functional e-mail shield. When enabled, the program will scan all incoming messages and outgoing messages for viruses and other types of malware that may be hiding as attachments. You can both enable and configure this feature at any time using tools already available to you in the main Avast Free Antivirus program window. No additional software downloads are required to get this feature off the ground.
Open the Avast Free Antivirus software on your computer using the exact same steps you would if you were changing program settings or scanning your hard drive for threats.
Click one time on the button on the left side of the Avast window labeled “Real-Time Shields.” A series of options, all related to the real-time protection capabilities of the software, will expand and fill the area of the screen beneath this button.
Click the button labeled “Mail Shield” to view the settings related to the e-mail scanning functionality of Avast Free Antivirus.
Locate the section of the screen labeled “Settings.” Check two boxes in this section of the screen. The boxes will be labeled “Scan inbound messages” and “Scan outbound messages.” Avast will immediately start scanning all messages both sent and received through your mail client. The status listed in the “Protection Status” section of the window at the top of the screen will now read “Running.”
Click the button labeled “Expert Status” to change more preferences related to the Avast e-mail shield. You can choose what specific types of e-mail accounts to scan (like POP3, IMAP4 and more) and all specify the exact behavior of the scanner. Make any changes that you’d like and click the “OK” button at the bottom of the window so that those changes can go into effect immediately.