About SEP Auto-Protect and email scanning
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About SEP Auto-Protect and email scanning


Article ID: 177773


Updated On:


Endpoint Protection


Information about Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) email scanning and what is and is not supported.


About Auto-Protect and email scanning

With the latest-available SEP client, protection is provided for the following email clients:

  • Lotus Notes 7.x or later.
  • Microsoft Outlook 98/2000/2002/2003/2007/2010/2013/2016 (MAPI and Internet)

Earlier releases of SEP may not support all Outlook and Notes clients.  Also note that the very latest releases from third-parties (such as IBM Notes 9.0 Social Edition) may not yet be supported by Symantec until they have passed a thorough regimen of compatablity tests.  

Note: Auto-Protect works on your supported email client only. It does not protect email servers.

Antivirus and Antispyware Protection also includes Auto-Protect scanning for additional Internet email programs by monitoring all traffic that uses the POP3 or SMTP communications protocols. You can configure the client software to scan incoming and outgoing messages for risks. Scans of outgoing email help to prevent the spread of threats that use email clients to replicate and distribute themselves across a network..

For scans of Lotus Notes email, Auto-Protect scans only the attachments that are associated with email.

For Internet email scanning of the messages that use the POP3 or SMTP protocols, Auto-Protect scans the following items:

  • The body of the message
  • Any attachments to the message

When you open a message with an attachment, the attachment is immediately downloaded to your computer and scanned when the following statements are true:

  • You use Microsoft Outlook over MAPI.
  • You have Auto-Protect enabled.

Over a slow connection, downloading messages with large attachments affects mail performance. You may want to disable this feature if you regularly receive large attachments.

Note: If a virus is detected as you open email, your email may take several seconds to open while Auto-Protect completes its scan.

Email scanning does not support the following email clients:

  • IMAP clients
  • AOL clients
  • Web-based email such as Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, GMAIL, and Outlook.com

Disabling Auto-Protect handling of encrypted email connections

You can send and receive email over a secure link. By default, Internet Email Auto-Protect supports encrypted passwords and email over POP3 and SMTP connections. If you use POP3 or SMTP with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), then the client detects secure connections but does not scan encrypted messages.

Even though Auto-Protect does not scan the email that uses secure connections, Auto-Protect continues to protect computers from risks in attachments. Auto-Protect scans email attachments when you save the attachment to the hard drive.

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

You can disable the handling of encrypted email if you need to do so. When these options are disabled, Auto-Protect scans the unencrypted email that is sent or received, but Auto-Protect blocks encrypted email. If you turn on the options and then try to send encrypted email, Auto-Protect blocks the email until you restart your email application.

Note: If you disable encrypted connections for Auto-Protect, the change does not take effect until you log off Windows and log on again. If you need to be sure that your change took effect immediately, log off and log on again.

To disable Auto-Protect handling of encrypted email connections:

  1. In the client, in the sidebar, click Change settings.
  2. Next to Antivirus and Antispyware Protection, click Configure Settings.
  3. On the Internet Email Auto-Protect tab, click Advanced.
  4. Under Connection settings, uncheck Allow encrypted POP3 connections and Allow encrypted SMTP connections.
  5. Click OK.