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Dealing with spam

The University has advice on phishing messages and email scams.

Spam is unwanted, unsolicited and junk email. Often it contains offensive material or scams. Action is taken at University level to reduce the level of spam that gets to your mailbox, but it is a never ending battle.

Though the University has anti-spam and anti-virus measures in place, some does slip through the net. If you think you are seeing more than your fair share of junk mail, then please check your spam filter settings. IS provides instructions on dealing with spam in Office 365.

Spam is often sent with a forged From: address. Various computer viruses also send mail from infected computers, with headers faked to report that they've come from somewhere else. There is nothing we can to do stop this, and if you find your email address being forged by someone else, then the best thing is to delete the resulting mail and ignore it. Certainly don't reply to it.

Some spam is designed to be offensive. The spammer hopes you will send a protest in reply, enabling them to confirm that your email address corresponds to an active user. Therefore replying to these emails makes you a target for even more spam. The email may also contain links - do not click on them. They too will either signal a "live" email address, or present you with more unwanted, offensive images.

If you receive an offensive email, then the simplest thing to do is just delete and ignore it. If you feel that its content should be reported to the Police, then do so via the Internet Watch Foundation. This is a body setup by major ISPs and the Police to act as a focus for the removal of illegal material from the Internet. Due to differences between English and Scottish law, please do not forward the content to anyone else, including computing staff, as the recipient would not have the same protection as they do under English law. Report it to the IWF (above) and delete the mail.

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