What to do with Spam Emails

As you are all undoubtedly aware, spam and phishing emails are a part of daily life for anyone with an email account. Every day, the Olin email system (running on Microsoft 365 services) sees hundreds or thousands of malicious emails coming in from the outside world. Most of these are blocked outright, or are automatically filtered into your “Junk Email” folder. Despite strong technology, every day, dozens of malicious emails make their way into inboxes at Olin. (Similarly, there are also a number of legitimate emails that are accidentally put into Junk Email folders.)

The practice of Olin IT is that we do not send out a warning message to the community when we are aware of a malicious message that has made it into someone’s inbox. If we did, you’d see warning messages from us nearly every day, and you’d quickly stop reading the warnings. We do not want the community to depend on Olin IT to indicate which messages are suspect. Instead, we rely on each member of the community to be individually vigilant and cautious about every message in their inbox. This is particularly true for messages from Olin leadership, such as President Barabino. It is a very standard tactic to send fake emails from organization Presidents, CEOs, CFOs, and other leadership, because community members are statistically less likely to question them.

If you receive a spam or phishing email in your Olin inbox

The best thing that you can do is to use the Report Message tool to flag it as junk or phishing:

Every time you flag a message as junk or phishing, you help teach our email system about which messages are suspicious, which will help block future malicious messages, even messages that might get sent later the same day. Similarly, if you find messages in your Junk Email folder that are not junk, please flag them as Not Junk.

Do not forward malicious emails to anyone, including the IT HelpDesk.

If you believe you have accidentally clicked on a malicious email, or typed your password into a malicious web site, please contact the IT Help Desk immediately (helpdesk@olin.edu; 781-292-2430) and change your password immediately (http://password.olin.edu/).