How do I identify a spam email?

Check the email address of the sender

Sometimes emails appear to have come from a trusted or familiar address, however, the email security service checks the sender in every email delivered and will add this comment "This email did not originate from the sender's Southern Cross University email account, proceed with caution and verify the sender's identity" to any email that misrepresents the sender. Please don't click any links in an email that contains this warning. 

If the email originates from an unusual email address or looks like a collection of random letters chances are that the contents of the email are suspect. 

Is it too good to be true?

Chances are that it is too good to be true, and is likely bait designed to grab your attention.

Always be cautious of opening any attachment that comes from an email address that you are unsure of

If the email address of the sender is unfamiliar there is always the chance that any attachments sent will be harmful. 

Never open an .exe or application sent in an email, as these are most often viruses or ransomware that will inflict serious harm to your data or device. It is advised to first view office documents such as Word or Excel in protected mode before you open the document for changes to be made.

Be cautious following links provided in an email

If the email originates from a unfamiliar address and also has links contained in it, it is possible the email is a phishing email. These are designed to trick you into putting your username and password into a form that then allows unauthorized users to login to your account.

Check links provided in an email

If you hover your mouse over a link in an email it will show you its address. 

Check to ensure that the address points in a similar direction to what is implied in the link itself. Generally if the address seems like it is taking you somewhere different then what is implied you can determine that the message is a scam.

Practice common sense

Finally, practice common sense when dealing with emails. There are situations where the guidelines above will not apply. If something seems suspicious is probably is, and as such treat it with caution.

Never open or run anything you are unsure of, and never put your username and password into any place that isn't directly related to SCU or on the SCU website. If you are ever uncertain contact the Service Desk for assistance.