Spam & Phishing
Spam is the bane of email inboxes everywhere and the biggest nuisance on the Internet today. It is a challenge that is not likely to go away anytime soon. Senderbase.org reports that billions of spam messages circulate the Internet on any given day, comprising 85.46% of global email volume. With a problem this big, how can we defend ourselves?
Pacific has in place Microsoft's Forefront Online Protection for Exchange system (FOPE) specifically designed for detecting and quarantining spam and email viruses before they get into or out of our email system. The Outlook email program also has some built-in junk email settings that can assist in keeping spam out of our inboxes. For more specific information on how to manage and configure FOPE spam filtering and/or Outlook junk mail options, please see the OIT-FAQ.
In addition to the systems we have in place at Pacific, there are some common sense ways we can prevent spam from being sent to us. Spamlaws.com lists a few of those common ways:
- Never reply to or click on any links in a spam message
Don't buy any products or services advertised in spam, don't reply to the email, don't click on any links provided, and don't click the "Unsubscribe" link unless it includes mention of the CAN-SPAM Act. These actions only serve to confirm to spammers that you exists and your are receiving their emails. This may even increase the amount of email these spammers are sending you.
- Read your messages as text
Turn off the ability to view pictures, HTML, movies and formatted text for emails you don't know. This prevents you from accidentally clicking a link or downloading adware, spyware, or viruses without knowing it. For more information on how to do this, please see the OIT-FAQ or contact your local TSP or the Customer Support Center at 209.946.7400.
- Preview your messages
If you use Outlook you can prevent messages in the preview screen before actually opening them. Like reading your messages as text, this prevents you from downloading spyware, adware, and viruses without knowing it.
- Don't participate in forwards and ask your friends not to send you them
Forwarded emails tend to list the email address of everyone who has forwarded the message, along with the email addresses of everyone they forwarded the message to. This is an easy target for spammers to find long lists of email addresses to target. Be especially wary of signing any sort of petition too, since these can be created by spammers for the list of names and email addresses.
- Read privacy policies before disclosing your email address
As a final reminder, please do not forward spam to anyone inside or outside of the university. Aside from contributing to the problem, it is against Pacific's Acceptable Use Policy under section D. Cooperative Use (pgs. 19 & 20).
If you have any further questions regarding how to manage or configure junk email settings or Pacific's PureMessage filters, please contact your local TSP or the Customer Support Center at 209.946.7400.