How to tell if an e-mail message is SPAM

  • Posted on: 8 February 2011
  • By: jdickmann

Here are some tips for determining if a message is SPAM or some sort of scam. Note that while the tips below are important to understand in general, the bottom line is that the SLUH IT department is directly responsible for almost all SLUH technology-related services and hardware. Thus, any information regarding these services and hardware will come *directly from us* or *someone who works for SLUH* via an @sluh.org address. In the rare event that an outside vendor will need to contact you directly we will do our best to let you know in advance or immediately after such a message is sent.

Without further adieu:
 

  1. Always check the sending address; anything related to SLUH technology will come from one of the current SLUH IT staff (found here) from our sluh.org e-mail address - but at the *very* least, from a sluh.org e-mail address.
  2. Look for personalization. An e-mail addressed to you or a group you recognize ("Dear SLUH teachers,", "To my 3rd period Juniors,") is much more likely to be authentic than a generic message.
  3. Who signed the message?  If it relates to technology, a member of the SLUH IT department will have personally signed the message.
  4. What is the goal of the message?  If the message is trying to get you to open an attachment (especially one you weren't expecting), or to click on a link, that greatly increases the chance that it's a fake. If there is a link and you feel compelled to visit it, go directly to the website in question by typing the address in yourself, as links can be deceiving (while this looks like it will take you to Google, it's actually a link to yahoo.com: http://www.google.com/). Beware of shortened links (such as those from services like tinyurl.com or bit.y) as they hide the true URL.
    If a faculty or staff member is asking you to take a survery or view a newsletter, it may be okay to click on it - just make sure that the e-mail message passes the previous three conditions first. Note: SLUH already has your username and home address. If we need to, we can reset your password - we'll never ask you for it via an e-mail.

    Don't submit your username and password unless you are certain the form is genuine. Most importantly, any time you think you may have compromised your account, change your password immediately and contact the IT department.

    If you ever have any questions or still aren't sure, please contact one of the SLUH IT staff and we will be happy to assist you.