Tips for Safe Email

Be Wary about Clicking on Links

Do not click on unsolicited links you receive in e-mail, text or chat messages! They could 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, be wary of links sent as text messages from numbers that aren’t in your contacts, this is a common spam or Phishing technique. Even watch out for QR codes (those blocky codes you scan with your phone camera), because it’s hard to know where a QR will take you when you snap it. 

Files Attached to E-mails: 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. 

If in doubt, delete attachments.

See Protect My Computer for more information on anti-virus and other ways to protect yourself.

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.