6 Ways to Protect Your Computer from Email Viruses and Scams

1. Use Google’s 2-Step Verification

2-Step Verification can help keep bad guys out, even if they have your password. Signing in to your account will work a little differently. Whenever you sign in to Google, you’ll enter your password as usual. Then, a code will be sent to your phone via text, voice call, or our mobile app.
|  Get Started wtih 2-Step Verification |

2. Don’t open unexpected attachments

Viruses are often sent via email attachments. Macalester’s email service 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.

3. 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

4. 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.

5. 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.  

6. Use the skeptical hover technique to see where that link REALLY goes…

While these links may not be a phishing attempt, they may not go to the site you intend. Mouse over the link and take a look at the bottom left corner of the browser window. The actual website address will appear. Unless you are completely comfortable that the link is legitimate, don’t click it!