Email Safety

Be Wary about Clicking on Links

Do not click on unsolicited links you receive in e-mail or IM messages!!! They likely lead to a malicious website intended to compromise your computer or your personal data. Even if you think the link is legitimate, Confirm Before You Click! Contact the sender to verify that the link is not a ruse.

Also, remember that most e-mail, and many commercial IM systems (AIM, MS Messenger, Yahoo, and others) are not secure! Avoid using confidential or personal data with IM.

Files Attached to E-mails and IMs: Be Skeptical; Be Safe

Do not open attachments!!! Do not view them; do not save them. If your e-mail client is configured to automatically open attachments, change it now. Attaching malicious files to e-mails and IMs is one of the easiest ways for criminals to spread viruses, worms and spyware.

Before Opening Attachments, ALWAYS

  • Contact the person who sent you the attachment and verify that they intended to send it to you.
  • Make sure your e-mail client and anti-virus have scanned the attachment for malicious code. McAfee VirusScan is FREE to all UF students, faculty and staff;download it now from

If in doubt, delete attachments.

Another way to avoid malicious e-mail is configure your client to filter your mail for spam. Information and tutorials on one way to do this can be found at:

Sending E-mail Safely

  • Arrange in advance to let recipients know that you are about to send an attachment.
  • Avoid sending executable files as attachments, including Microsoft Word documents with macros. Send RTF (File | Save As | RTF) or PDF files instead. Using an anti-virus product, scan the file before you attach it. Download McAfee VirusScan from

Check web resources:

Also check hoaxes: