Email Safety

Be Wary about Clicking on Links

Do not click on unsolicited links you receive in e-mail or IM messages!!! They likely lead to a malicious website intended to compromise your computer or your personal data. Even if you think the link is legitimate (i.e. appears to be from a email account), Confirm Before You Click!

Also, remember that most e-mail, and many commercial IM systems (AIM, MS Messenger, Yahoo, and others) are not secure! Avoid using confidential or personal data with IM.

Files Attached to Emails and IMs: Be Skeptical; Be Safe

Do not open attachments!!! Do not view them; do not save them. If your e-mail client is configured to automatically open attachments, change it now. Attaching malicious files to e-mails and IMs is one of the easiest ways for criminals to spread viruses, worms, and spyware.

Before Opening Attachments, ALWAYS

  • Contact the person who sent you the attachment and verify that they intended to send it to you.
  • Make sure your email client and anti-virus have scanned the attachment for malicious code.

If in doubt, delete attachments.

Another way to avoid malicious email is configure your client to filter your mail for spam. Contact the SCF help desk if you need assistance doing this.

Sending E-mail Safely

  • Arrange in advance to let recipients know that you are about to send an attachment.
  • Avoid sending executable files as attachments, including Microsoft Word documents with macros. Send RTF (File | Save As | RTF) or PDF files instead. Using an anti-virus product like Sophos, scan the file before you attach it.
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