Spam, Phishing and unsolicited email
Spam is the term widely used for unsolicited email. It is usually sent indiscriminately to many email addresses simultaneously. Spam can be emails containing advertising material, requests for information, offensive material and so on. Please be assured that the utmost is done to block as much spam or other forms of junk email as possible, without impacting on 'real' email. Spam email will only stay in your spam folder for 14 days at which point, it will be deleted.
Aside from being overly suspicious, here are examples of ways to help you identify spam. Please note that these are not 'exact' guidelines, but will help you form your decision.
1. Subject line
The subject line will make little or no sense, or may seem out of context.
Are you expecting an email from this person? Does the combination of the sender and the subject/content of the email make sense? Is the sender someone that you would expect to receive an email from, or is an authority about the content?
Sometimes the email accounts of people that you know can become compromised, so if it still seems suspicious, it's best to confirm with them via other means.
Does the purpose/content of the email make sense/is relevant to you? If you receive an email regarding a service you didn’t know you had, then it is likely to be a scam.
4. Spelling and grammar
Spam emails will usually, but not always, entail bad spelling and grammar, including basic spelling mistakes or using similar sounding words with different meanings interchangeably.
There will be some sort of enticement, whether it is money or continued operation of your account, which is achieved by going to a website hyperlink. DO NOT click hyperlinks in emails which you cannot verify are genuine.
When you hover over a link, you may also see that it is directing to a different URL than the link advises. In example 1, the link in the email says http://my-currency.massey.ac.nz but, by hovering over the link, it is actually going to http://con-currency.com.us/
Note: ITS will never ask you to supply your password or PIN.
What should I do with spam?
- Do not reply to spam under any circumstance.
- Do not forward to anyone else other than firstname.lastname@example.org (see below)
- Do not click any hyperlink contained in the email.
- Delete it.
You can forward spam to the Massey 'junk mail' monitoring service (email@example.com). The junk mail is monitored to see what emails are getting through the filters and to identify, if possible, patterns in the messages getting through - individual messages sent to junk mail are not blocked.
If patterns are identified in the emails sent to 'junkmail' the filters are updated to incorporate these emails.
What should I do if I have replied to a spam?
If your have supplied your Massey username and password, please contact the Service Desk IMMEDIATELY and request assistance with resetting your password. Please don’t be embarrassed if you need to do this. This is very important to ensure your user credentials are kept secure and the integrity of the Massey network is not compromised.
If you have supplied other personal details, such as bank or credit card details, please get in contact with the organization involved in providing that service.
What can I do to reduce or prevent spam in the future?
In general, following the guidelines above will help minimize the amount of spam received:
- Do not join 'open' mailing lists i.e. where anyone can view membership or the name of the list
- Avoid using your Massey email address for website memberships whereby your email address will be shared at some point.
- Be cautious of who you give your email address to or where you display it.
If you notice that you are receiving spam continually from a particular address, you may choose block it by using the MySpam website.
Page authorised by CIO
Last updated on Wednesday 20 November 2019
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