Spam emails, also known as Junk emails, are any unsolicited emails with the main aim being advertising, phishing, fraud or spreading malware. The first ever spam was sent in 1978!
Phishing emails are a specific type of scam in which a target or targets are contacted by email (or telephone or text message) by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and usernames and passwords.
How do we stop spam?
Our spam filter currently blocks 300 000 unsolicited messages per day, but no filter can block 100% of spam emails as the higher the filtering settings, the higher the risk of blocking legitimate emails. Outlook / Office365 will also apply filtering and can move e-mails into your "Junk Email" folder.
Therefore, we need you to be aware of them, how to identify them and what to do with them!
Should I open a spam email?
If you receive an email which you believe to be spam, or from any unknown sender, do not open it. Only open an email if you are 100% certain it is safe to do so. If in doubt delete the message and contact the person you believe sent it using an alternate means in case the sender's mailbox has been compromised. The best method is to phone them to verify the legitimacy of the sent e-mail.
NEVER open attachments in any e-mails you are not expecting or you do not know the sender or, if you do know the sender but something looks suspicious e.g. the send time is unusual or the wording is not in their usual style. Malicious emails often have harmful content embedded within standard files like Word, Excel, and PDF documents.
NEVER forward the e-mail onto a colleague to look at or to the IT ServiceDesk as if there is any malicious content within it we do not want it spreading around.
NEVER click on any web links within the e-mail.
NEVER reply to the e-mail, no matter how annoyed you may be, as your address could be added to lists which could mean you are targeted with even more e-mail.
NEVER click on the unsubscribe link, unless you have definitely subscribed to the email, as the spammer can capture more information about you.
What if I opened a spam email?
If you think you may have opened a suspicious attachment or clicked on a web site link (which has not been blocked by your filtering software) please power down your device ASAP by holding the power button for between 5-10 seconds until the screen has gone black. Contact your IT Support to report the issue so IT can investigate it further. Do not log in to your device or any other device until IT have confirmed it is OK to do so - it is better to be safe than sorry. If you think it may cause a data breach, also report it to your DPO.
How do I report a spam email?
If you receive a spam email the best advice is to just delete it but if you are receiving a lot which are similar in content, appear fraudulent or contain inappropriate content please inform your mail provider, if this is SCC IT then use the details below: