About the types of Auto-Protect

Article:HOWTO80944  |  Created: 2012-10-24  |  Updated: 2014-09-21  |  Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/HOWTO80944
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About the types of Auto-Protect

Auto-Protect scans files as well as certain types of email and email attachments.

By default, all types of Auto-Protect are enabled. If you use a server-based email scanning solution such as Symantec Mail Security, you might not need to enable Auto-Protect for email.

Mac clients and Linux clients do not support email Auto-Protect scans.

Table: Types of Auto-Protect

Type of Auto-Protect



Continuously scans files as they are read from or written to the client computer.

Auto-Protect is enabled by default for the file system. It loads at computer startup. It inspects all files for viruses and security risks, and blocks the security risks from being installed. It can optionally scan files by file extension, scan files on remote computers, and scan floppies for boot viruses. It can optionally back up files before it attempts to repair the files, and terminate processes and stop services.

You can configure Auto-Protect to scan only selected file extensions. When Auto-Protect scans the selected extensions, it can also determine a file's type even if a virus changes the file's extension.

For those clients that do not run email Auto-Protect, your client computers are still protected when Auto-Protect is enabled. Most email applications save attachments to a temporary folder when users launch email attachments. Auto-Protect scans the file as it is written to the temporary folder and detects any virus or security risk. Auto-Protect also detects the virus if the user tries to save an infected attachment to a local drive or network drive.

Internet Email Auto-Protect

(Windows only)

Scans inbound Internet email body and email attachments for viruses and security risks; also performs outbound email heuristics scanning.

By default, Internet Email Auto-Protect supports encrypted passwords and email over POP3 and SMTP connections. Internet Email Auto-Protect supports 32-bit or 64-bit systems. If you use POP3 or SMTP with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), then the client detects secure connections but does not scan encrypted messages.


For performance reasons, Internet Email Auto-Protect for POP3 is not supported on server operating systems.

Email scanning does not support IMAP, AOL, or HTTP-based email such as Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail.

Microsoft Outlook Auto-Protect

(Windows only)

Downloads incoming Microsoft Outlook email attachments and scans for viruses and security risks when the user reads the message and opens the attachment.

Microsoft Outlook Auto-Protect supports Microsoft Outlook 98 through Outlook 2013, for the MAPI or Internet protocols. Microsoft Outlook Auto-Protect supports 32-bit and 64-bit systems.

During installation, Symantec Endpoint Protection installs Microsoft Outlook Auto-Protect if you include it in the package and Microsoft Outlook is already installed on the computer.

If a user downloads a large attachment over a slow connection, mail performance is affected. You may want to disable this feature for users who regularly receive large attachments.


You should not install Microsoft Outlook Auto-Protect on a Microsoft Exchange Server. Instead you should install Symantec Mail Security for Microsoft Exchange.

Lotus Notes Auto-Protect

(Windows only)

Scans incoming Lotus Notes email attachments for viruses and security risks.

Lotus Notes Auto-Protect supports Lotus Notes 7.x or later.

During installation, Symantec Endpoint Protection installs Lotus Notes Auto-Protect if you include it in the package and Lotus Notes is already installed on the computer.

See About the types of scans and real-time protection

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