Email Safety Tips

5 Ways to Protect Your Computer from Email Viruses and Scams

1. DON'T OPEN UNEXPECTED ATTACHMENTS

Viruses are often sent via email attachments. Macalester’s email service, Google Apps, scans incoming email (sent to @macalester.edu addresses) and cleans known viruses. It is nevertheless good practice to be cautious about unexpected attachments in the unlikely event that a new virus escapes the anti-virus update. Learn how to manage email attachments

2. USE SPAM FILTERS

Macalester is fortunate in that Google Apps uses one of the most advanced and continually improved spam filters in existence. This function is greatly enhance when you report a message as spam.  Learn how to report spam

3. BEWARE OF EMAIL PHISHING OR SPOOFING

Phishing emails are an attempt by thieves to lure you into divulging personal information for their profit. Learn to recognize the telltale signs of phishing

4. USE CAUTION WITH SENSITIVE INFORMATION IN EMAIL

By default, @macalester.edu domain email messages are transferred securely via https. Nevertheless sensitive information, commonly known as Personal Information Requiring Notification (PIRN), should not be transferred via email. Learn more about PIRN

Even though all Macalester email through Google is secure in transfer (https is “on” all the time) this does not change anything that is transferred in the message. Viruses and worms can get through, and phishing and spoofing attempts can still happen.  

5. AVOID CLICKING ON LINKS IN THE BODY OF AN EMAIL MESSAGE

While these links may not be a phishing attempt, they may not go to the site you intend. Unless you are completely comfortable that the email is legitimate, it is best to copy and paste the link or type it in directly in your browser.