SPAM and Email Security

Spam is the unsolicited bulk messages that are indiscriminately sent to users' email accounts.

OIT is committed to keeping your email account free of SPAM, phishing scams, viruses, and malware. The University has invested in products and full-time professionals to help with this effort. Unfortunately, some SPAM will still get through and very targeted phishing attempts may still be delivered, but with your help, these products will get better and more attuned to the needs of our campus.

Messages that are believed to be spam are automatically sent to the Junk E-Mail folder associated with your email account.

You should periodically check your Junk E-Mail folder for legitimate messages that may have been sent there by mistake.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is a message determined to be spam?

Determining if a message is spam is based on a number of factors, including the "reputation" of the sender, the content of the message, other data that is sent along with the email message, quality and type of attachments, and the number of recipients.

Why does a message have [SUSPICIOUS MESSAGE] in the subject line?

One of the products OIT uses to scan messages will append the subject line of a message with [SUSPICIOUS MESSAGE] if the message contains one or more links that trips a flag in the system as potentially unsafe or uses a domain that is known to host malware/viruses.

The links in these messages will be rewritten to begin with This allows you to safely test these potentially dangerously pages on a proxy server. This server will scan the page for malicious content. You may have the opportunity to trust this site with the following message.

Popup message that lets you select: I don't trust this site or I trust this site.

Whether you trust this site or don't trust this website, that provides feedback to the system to either ease off the restiction of links to this site or to continue block this site for all users.

Email was incorrectly sent to my Junk Mail folder. What now?

Items may inadvertently be placed in your Junk E-Mail folder and treated like spam even though they may truly not be spam. Consider the following to options:

  • If the message comes from a person or company that should be trusted campus-wide, forward that message "as an attachment" to We will then work to get that person or company promoted into a trusted status.

  • If you trust the person or company but believe others may still consider the message junk, right-click on the message, choose Junk, and click Not Junk. You will be presented with a pop-up to Always trust e-mail from.... Check this box and press OK.

What's the difference between spam and phishing scams?

Spam is junk email sent in bulk to unsolicited recipients. It includes chain letters, advertisements, get rich quick scams, and pornography. Almost everyone who uses email receives spam.

Phishing scams, usually a more specific type of SPAM, are typically fraudulent email messages appearing to come from legitimate sources like your bank, your Internet Service Provider, eBay, or PayPal, for example. These messages usually direct you to a fake website and ask you for private information (e.g., password, credit card, or other account updates). The perpetrators then use this private information to commit identity theft.

More information on Phishing Scams

Safe Email Browsing Tips

Use these tips to increase your safety while using email.

  • Don't open attachments unless you requested the file or the sender is someone you trust and you can verify they did intend to send you the file.
  • Use caution clicking links. When in doubt, don't click it. Instead open your browser and type in the address.
  • Don't share personal information via email.


Last Updated: March 15, 2017