You are here

Dealing with spam

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version


The University has advice on phishing messages.


Often referred to as SPAM (or spam), unwanted, unsolicited and junk email is an unpleasant fact of modern day life for almost anyone with an email address. Often these emails contain offensive material or scams to relieve you of your hard earned cash.

Action is being taken at University level to reduce the level of SPAM that gets to your mailbox, but it is a never ending battle.

Forged email

Another unfortunate fact of life is that SPAM is often sent with a forged sender's From: email address field. Various computer viruses also send mail from infected computers, but fake the headers to report that they've come from somewhere else.

There is nothing we can to do stop this, and if you find yourself at the receiving end of some abusive or just confusing mail following your email address being forged by someone else, then the best thing is to delete it and ignore it.

How to deal with spam

IS provide instructions on dealing with spam.

Reporting Offensive/Illegal Email Content

One of the unpleasant facts of modern life is that, at some point, you'll receive an unsolicited email that contains (or advertises) offensive and/or illegal material, for example pornography or child abuse.

Though the University has anti-spam and 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.

Some of these emails are 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 ( web site. 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.

Last reviewed: 

System Status

Home dirs (AFS)
Other services
University services
Scheduled downtime

Choose a topic