IT Security and Compliance
Contact us: 323-343-2600
Contact us: 323-343-2600
Combat E-mail Viruses and Spam
SecurityTip: Don't take the bait! Learn how to avoid being the victim of e-mail scams!
Help protect your e-mail account from viruses and spam by following these simple recommendations:
- Do not open attachments from unknown senders.
- Do not forward messages or attachments from unknown senders.
- Never respond to any junk mail you receive.
Responding simply confirms to the sender that yours is a valid e-mail address and increases the probability that your e-mail address will remain on the sender’s distribution list, or be distributed to other spammers.
- Do not use the preview feature in your e-mail program.
To determine valid e-mail addresses, spammers may use methods that track when a message is viewed, even if the recipients do not open or reply to the message.
- Always use caution when clicking on embedded links in e-mail messages, and never click on links in spam messages.
Sometimes links can take you to a web page that automatically starts downloading a virus or file that contains a virus.
- Delete unsolicited messages from unknown senders.
A spam message may contain a virus or other program that could damage your computer if opened.
- Do not make purchases from unsolicited e-mail messages.
Unsolicited e-mail messages are particularly suspect since spammers can easily counterfeit return addresses. If you need to make a purchase online, go to the vendor's secure Web site.
- Never respond to unsolicited e-mail messages that ask for any personal identifying information.
Never provide your Social Security Number, name, address, mother's maiden name, or other personal identifying information in response to an unsolicited e-mail message. Many spammers can counterfeit a return address, such as a bank's, and trick unsuspecting recipients into revealing confidential information.
- Use the blind copy (Bcc) field when sending e-mail messages to a large distribution list.
Using the Bcc field conceals your recipients' e-mail addresses from the other recipients.
- Do not provide your e-mail address to newsgroup lists, online public forums, or Web sites.
Spammers may utilize techniques to harvest e-mail addresses from public forums and Web sites.
- Never give your primary e-mail address to anyone you don't trust.
- Use one or more secondary e-mail address.
Use a secondary e-mail address for purchasing online merchandise, submitting online registration forms, or requesting online information and offers. This helps protect your primary e-mail account from abuse.
- Subscribe to the University's anti-spam services.
If you are a faculty or staff member, read the Quarantine Manager Training to learn how to opt in to the anti-spam services. All student e-mail accounts are opted in to these services.
- Configure Outlook to automatically handle junk mail in your campus e-mail account.
Read the Microsoft Outlook handouts for more information and instructions.
See also our Phishing and Spam Alerts page.