I’ve been using Thunderbird as my email client for ages – years – and I’ve always been very happy with it.
But last weekend a wave of emails containing the JS/Redir virus starting hitting me (and they’re still hitting me now).
AVG spotted the virus (which was good) but couldn’t get rid of it (not so good).
So I ended up spending a good deal of time over the weekend getting rid of this thing manually. It was quite a tortuous process, too.
I won’t bore you with the details, but it involved disabling the Windows restore point function, tracking down the specific file (thanks to AVG), doing a secure (10 repetition) delete on it (thanks to TuneUp Utilities), installing another virus cleaner (PC Tools) and doing repeated scans with PC Tools, Malwarebytes and AVG.
And I finally got the bugger 🙂
But since I was getting hit by a wave of emails with this virus, I had to go through that process each time. Which means my weekend was pretty unproductive!
I’ve often worried about having a fall back plan for my email client. I back everything up, of course, but beyond that I never had a real fall back plan.
What can Gmail do for me?
But this incident pushed me into action. In an attempt to keep that nasty little brat off my machine I suddenly thought: what can Gmail do for me?
I’ve had a Gmail account for years and I know a lot of people who swear by it, but I’d never given it much thought.
But, lo and behold, I found there’s quite a lot it can do for me.
I’ve now set it up as my email client.
It accesses and downloads mails from my email servers, it automatically uses the address to which the incoming email was sent as the ‘from’ address for outgoing replies, and it sends outgoing emails through my servers.
So people exchanging emails with me have no idea I’m using Gmail (unless they read this, of course!).
One downside is that there’s a limit to the number of email addresses it will download mail from (currently 5). As I had 7 email addresses I was using for different things, I had to do some rationalisation – which was probably a good thing!
And I know I’m still getting those nasty emails because Gmail keeps telling me it’s left some mails on my server because they contain a virus.
Which is exactly what I was trying to achieve.
So I’m quite impressed.
It will also make roaming much simpler. With Thunderbird I had to change my outgoing SMTP server settings whenever I roamed outside Hong Kong. No need with Gmail because everything’s through-the-browser.
All-in-all then, that virus did me a favour. Which I’m sure was not the intention of whichever scum-bag started sending it out in the first place.