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Phishing and spam emails

What is 'phishing'?

Phishing is a term used to describe attempts to obtain personal details from you, such as username, password, or bank details, via email messages that pretend to be from a trusted source, for example a bank, HMRC, file storage provider etc.

Such messages can be very convincing and can look exactly like the provider's email and web pages. It is also very easy to forge the ‘sender address’ of a message.

If you think your email is suspicious: 

  1. Never click on a link in any email claiming to be from your bank, building society, HMRC, insurance company etc which asks you to confirm your personal details. No legitimate organistion will ever ask you to do this. You may also unknowingly download a virus.
  2. Never reveal your University password to anyone. We will never send you a message asking for your password. In fact, University regulations stipulate that you must not give your password to anyone.
  3. Check the email address of the sender - if it does not end with, this is not a genuine email and should be deleted immediately.
  4. and hover your mouse over any links in the email to see if they look suspicious.
  5. Check the content - if this is different from the senders usual style, send a seperate email to the sender to check if its genuine.
  6. If in any doubt about an email, move it to your Junk folder. This will in future automatically block messages from the same sender
  7. Remember that if an offer in an email looks to good to be true, it very probably is!

What is spam?

Spam is viewed as irrelevant or unsolicited emails, sent typically to a large number of users, for the purposes of advertising, phishing, spreading malware, etc.

  • We block tens of thousands of spam and phishing emails every day, but we cannot reject all messages that might be suspect, as we might stop you receiving some legitimate emails
  • We scan all emails to check for known viruses, and reject infected messages
  • We block messages not sent from a properly managed email system
  • All mailboxes are subscribed to the University spam blocking service by default. Check the status of your spam setting.
  • We have now introduced an extra layer of spam protection where some messages that are detected as spam will be routed to your 'Junk Mail' folder. For more information, please see below.

What you should do with spam emails: 

  1. Mark the message as Junk or block the sender (see below). This will in future automatically block messages from the same sender. Or just delete them.
  2. Do not report spam messages you receive to SID, they can only tell you to move them to your Junk folder or delete them.
  3. Be aware that spammers often use false addresses which they frequently change, so you may have to move new items to Junk as they arrive.
  4. Unsubscribe from websites you have signed up to if you no longer want to receive emails from them.
  5. Do not use your University email address to sign up to private websites.
  6. Use the Clutter feature to automatically move unwanted emails out of your Inbox.


How to handle spam messages in Outlook

  • With the new added layer of spam protection, you may notice more messages being routed into your ‘Junk Mail’ folder.
  • To ensure that your important messages are always delivered to the correct place, please add them to your ‘Safe Senders’ list.  If you are seeing genuine messages being treated as spam, then please either add them to your ‘Safe Senders’ list or mark them as ‘Not Junk’.  See the below links for a guide on how to do this for your particular email client.
  • If you are receiving messages into your ‘Inbox’ that should be in your ‘Junk Mail’ folder, please see the below links for a guide on how to do this for your particular email client.


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