Spam and Phishing (Scam) Information

EFFECTIVE September 10, 2015 -- New instructions for reporting and releasing Spam

If you receive SPAM or a message you believe is a Phishing Scam

In the event that spam or phishing scam emails filter through to your mailbox you can report it to Microsoft.  Simply do the following:

Use email to report junk (spam) or phishing scam messages to Microsoft

  1. Create a new, blank message
  2. Address the email to the Microsoft team that reviews messages as follows:
  3. **IMPORTANT**:  Leave the body of the new message empty (remove any auto-populating signatures)
  4. Insert the junk or phishing scam message into your new blank email as an attachment (see Instructions on attaching  messages if you need assistance). DO NOT FORWARD THE JUNK OR PHISHING SCAM MESSAGE.
  5. Delete the original message

NOTE:  You can attach multiple messages if needed.  Make sure all the messages are the same type – either phishing scam messages or junk email messages. 

Definition of Phishing (scam) Messages

The act of acquiring private or sensitive data from users for use in fraudulent activities. Phishing is usually done by sending emails that seem to appear to come from credible sources (however, they are in no way affiliated with the actual source/company), which require users to put in personal data such as a credit card number or social security number. This information is then transmitted to the hacker and utilized to commit acts of fraud.
Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/phishing.html

Symantec Definition of Spam

The definition of spam is very subjective; many end-users define spam as unwanted email. This unwanted email may include legitimate advertisements the customer does not want to receive. This missed spam includes:

  • Opt-in marketing mailings
  • Business information mailings
  • Newsletters
  • Internet service provider end-user mailings. These email can confuse effectiveness and catch rate when you consider the performance of Symantec Mail Security solutions

Spam category definitions

Unsolicited bulk email (contains Unsolicited Commercial email)

Messages where the sender has no discernible relationship with the recipient. This type includes messages with forged (spoofed) headers. Symantec Anti-spam defines these messages as Spam. This type of message is constituted up to 70% of all messages.

Direct Marketing emails you do not want but have been solicited

Defined as email you subscribed to or received from legitimate companies. The category includes junk emails from legitimate direct marketers. It also includes bulk and the Personal junk (1/1 unsolicited mail) This type of email constitutes up to 15% of all messages.

Unwanted Newsletters

This category of email includes newsletters. You may not remember subscribing to or were not aware you subscribed. Also included are the newsletters that previous employees may have signed up for. These newsletters have now been transferred to the manager after departure from the corporation. This type of email constitutes up to 8% of all emails.

Unwanted account statement, confirmation messages, service update, or bills

These include statements from businesses you have a legitimate relationship with, even if you have requested not to receive the messages. This type of email constitutes up to 4% of all emails.

Hoaxes, urban legends, or jokes email sent by friends

Unwanted messages from personal acquaintances. This type of email constitutes up to 1% of all emails.

Spamming virus messages

Worms and other unwanted email borne threats. This type of email constitutes up to 1% of all emails.

Messages sent to you by mistake

Includes the messages you receive because your user name was used before. This type of email constitutes up to 1% of all emails.

The focus of the Symantec Anti-spam technology is to stop true spam messages. Symantec and other anti-spam vendors cannot guarantee the same effectiveness for every end user’s experience, since different users received different kinds and volumes of spam.

SPAM and Virus Protection

Wasted time, resources, bandwidth, and money are just some of the issues caused by Email SPAM and Viruses.  Although powerful, no anti-spam product is perfect. as it is estimated that about 1% of the spam we receive will pass through the filters into our mailboxes, a little caution and a lot of knowledge is really the best defense.

Here are a few tips to help you protect your own mailbox

  • If you receive a suspicious email that you think is asking for information such as passwords or credit card and other types of account number do not respond. No respectable business or entity ever uses Email to request such information.
  • Never open attachments, click on links, or respond to emails from suspicious looking or unknown senders.
  • Remember that nothing in life is free. That free screen saver you are downloading probably asked you to accept their license agreement. READ IT! It probably say’s that you agree to be on their or even multiple mailing lists or that they will sell your information to advertisers and partners (aka Spammers).
  • Online shopping can also place you on a subscriber list. When you do business with someone, you automatically give them the right to send you email. If you aren’t on state business, you shouldn’t use your state email address to shop on the internet.
  • Don’t give your state email address out to unknown individuals or businesses. Some valid businesses make extra income by selling their mailing lists. Once again, read the contract agreement.
  • If the SPAM has an Opt Out or an Unsubscribe link, that may be the only way to remove yourself from the list. Our systems can’t block email from subscriber lists so reporting them via the Spam Complain folder won’t do any good.
    • If you use an Unsubscribe link and are still receiving email from the same source more than 10 days later, you may then open a LANDesk ticket with DII to have us block their email as they would be considered non-compliant with the request.
  • Most complaints of repetitive SPAM are due to people subscribing unknowingly to mailing lists, and only about 1/10 of all SPAM reports are truly SPAM.

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