The tips below should help you identify malicious emails to ensure the integrity of your personal data and computer.
- Check the email address of the sender
If the email originates from an unusual email address or looks like a collection of random letters chances are that the contents of the email are suspect.
- Is it too good to be true?
Chances are that it is too good to be true, and is likely bait designed to grab your attention.
- Always be cautious of opening any attachment that comes from an email address that you are unsure of
If the email address of the sender is unfamiliar there is always the chance that any attachments sent will be harmful. Never open an .exe or application sent in an email, as these are most often viruses or ransomware that will inflict serious harm to your data or device. It is advised to first view office documents such as Word or Excel in protected mode before you open the document for changes to be made.
- Be cautious following links provided in an email
If the email originates from a unfamiliar address and also has links contained in it, it is possible the email is a phishing email. These are designed to trick you into putting your username and password into a form that then allows unauthorized users to login to your account.
- Check links provided in an email
if you hover your mouse over a link in an email it will show you its address. Check to ensure that the address points in a similar direction to what is implied in the link itself. Generally if the address seems like it is taking you somewhere different then what is implied you can determine that the message is a scam.
- Practice common sense
Finally, practice common sense when dealing with emails. There are situations where the guidelines above will not apply. If something seems suspicious is probably is, and as such treat it with caution. Never open or run anything you are unsure of, and never put your username and password into any place that isn't directly related to SCU or on the SCU website. If you are ever uncertain contact the Service Desk for assistance.
If you find an email that you believe to be malicious or harmful, please mark it as junk. For instructions on how to do this please refer to this article: How do I mark an email as Junk in Outlook?