Email spam, also known as junk email or email "phishing", is electronic spam involving nearly identical messages sent to numerous recipients by email. Clicking on links in a spam email may send a user to phishing web sites (where confidential information is asked for) or to sites that are hosting malware. Spam email may also include malware as file attachments. Phishing emails are designed to trick you out of sensitive information like passwords and account numbers. They are designed to appear as though they comes from legitimate businesses. Many claim to be conducting an audit and may ask for your password or account numbers for authentication.
While much of spam is sent to invalid email addresses universities and corporations can be targets of spam since they have large numbers of email addresses that use a similar naming scheme. Spam averages 78% of all email sent and according to the Message Anti-Abuse Working Group, the amount of spam email was between 88–92% of email messages sent in the first half of 2010.
To address this growing challenge with spam, we currently utilize a spam filtering software package called BARRACUDA. This gives us a tool to better manage our email system while at the same time giving you, our users, a great deal of control over your own email. It does this by filtering out a large majority of spam messages but still allowing you a way to create a personal "white list" so important emails don't get snagged by the filter. While this software does filter out a large majority of the spam we receive you may still get some spam messages in your inbox.
ORU IT will never request sensitive personal information by email – this is also true of many legitimate businesses. If you ever receive an email that you find suspicious, please do not click on any links. Instead, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org and ask about the suspect email.
For information and help administering your Barracuda Spam Filter, please see the Users Guide below or call the IT HelpDesk at 918.495.6315.
View Your Spam List (Use your ORU email Username and Password to log in.)
Things to Keep in Mind about Email "Phishing"
There are a couple of things to keep in mind to determine if an email you have received is fraud:
- Sender's Address – phishing emails may show a real email address, con artists will often edit the "From" line prior to sending out their email.
- Email Greeting – many phishing emails will start with a general greeting as the con artist does not know your name.
- Account Status – most phishing emails will try to deceive you with a threat that your account is in jeopardy or that it is being updated.
- Links in an Email – While legitimate emails will include links, phishing emails will try to redirect you to the con artist's site instead. You can spot a forged link by rolling over the link with your mouse and viewing the real location in the pop up bubble or at the bottom of the reading pane.
- Requests for Personal Information – Phishing emails often include requests for sensitive personal information like usernames, passwords or bank account numbers. Keep safe by never revealing information like that through an email request.
- Misspellings & Grammatical Errors – Many times when a phishing email is sent, it may have logos or links that make it look like an email from a legitimate source, but you will still see misspellings or grammatical errors in the email itself – including sometimes the name of the "company" sending you the email.
- Still not sure if it's legit? You can always do a search on the internet for the keywords from that email along with the word "spam" to see if the email you received is legitimate or if that company has published anything warning users about spam.