Combating Spam or Unsolicited Email

The ITS Helpdesk has been notified by many people who have received unsolicited Phishing and SPAM emails. You will find some information below that will help you to understand and avoid SPAM.

What is SPAM?

SPAM is unsolicited and unwanted Email that appears in your mailbox. These emails are often from companies or individuals trying to sell a product, or a "phishing" scheme to acquire your user information. If you have responded to a phishing scam, please contact the ITS Helpdesk at 607-871-2222.

How do SPAMMERS get my email address?

  • Many people unknowingly sign up for bulk electronic mailings. Addresses are gathered by websites and vendors. Clicking to open an ECard is one example of how this may happen.
  • Addresses are harvested from company directories, email listings on web pages, and forwarded emails
  • When a user replies to an "unsubscribe" link, it confirms to the sender that the email address is legitimate, which results in more SPAM

Can AU filter spam before it gets to my mailbox?

  • Yes. AU filters SPAM from your mailbox. We compile a list of mail servers used by known SPAMMERS. If an email comes from one of those mail servers, we automatically reject the email. This is know as "blacklisting."

How can I reduce the amount of SPAM I get?

  • DO NOT give your email address when you sign up for a service over the Internet
  • An alternative is to sign up for a Gmail (or other free) account that you use only for this kind of activity
  • If you are using Microsoft Outlook, you can reduce unsolicited mail by using the "rules" feature. For assistance, contact the ITS Helpdesk at 607-871-2222 or by email at helpdesk@alfred.edu.

What can I do when I get SPAM?

  • Delete it. Do not open the message; it is possible that this may send a read receipt to the sender and confirm your email address.
  • If you open a SPAM message, DO NOT click any links that appear in the message, even if the link is an "unsubscribe" link; this will confirm your email address
  • You can email the Internet Service Provider used to send the message and report the SPAM. Include the SPAM's subject line in the email.

Additional Information from Microsoft:

Help keep spam out of your Inbox
Email and web scams: How to help protect yourself
How to recognize phishing emails or links
What to do if you've responded to a phishing scam
Avoid scams that use the Microsoft name fraudulently
Phishing scams that target activities, interests, or news events