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Key facts:

Spam: (noun) "Irrelevant or unsolicited messages sent over the Internet, typically to large numbers of users, for the purposes of advertising, phishing, spreading malware, etc"

Over 80% of ALL email traffic on the Internet is considered spam.

What to do with suspicious email

If you have any suspicions at all that an email might be spam, simply delete it.  After all, what are the consequences...

  • If you mistakenly delete a genuine email message, it can simply be resent. 
  • Whereas if you are taken in by a spam message, you might infect the network, lose your password, or have money stolen from you!


Our role in preventing spam:

CSCS have various technical measures in place to reduce the amount of spam you receive in your mailbox, but the truth is that we are unlikely to be able to identify and block every single one. This means that you will inevitably be the recipient of one of these emails. 

Your role in preventing spam:

Be suspicious - more fraudulent email are sent out than than legitimate ones!  This means that you need to treat every message with caution.

It might be spam if some or all of the following apply:

  1. If you are not expecting the email, and don't know or recognise the sender, it may be spam BUT....
  2. It might also appear to have been sent from a colleague's account.  It is easy to spoof someone's email address.  If the message ticks several of the boxes in this list - it is probably spam.
  3. If the email is badly formatted or contains odd grammatical structures, it may be spam
  4. If the email may use unfamiliar terms - e.g. ICT helpdesk instead of CSCS Service Desk
  5. If it asks you for any personal information whatsoever, it may be spam
  6. If it contains links to websites that ask you to fill in any details, it may be spam
    1. hover your mouse pointer over the link (but don't click) to see what comes up - what might appear to be a web page to a University page might in fact say 'apply here' or refer to a non cam.ac.uk website
  7. If it has an attachment that you were not specifically expecting, do not open it

If you are not sure ask us, there is no shame in it and we'll be glad you did.  

If you see a piece of spam that seems to be targeted at the University and may have been widespread, forward a copy to spam@uis.cam.ac.uk for investigation and blocking for the entire University.