E-mail - Spam and Phishing

The University of Tromsø (UiT) is using the program Spamassassin to filter spam. This happens automaticly, and no action is needed on the part of the users. NOTE: Some spam will allways surpass the filter. These e-mails must me deleted manually by the users.

What is spam?

Spam is an informal term for unwanted e-mail. The contents of a spam message may be offensive (eg pornographic), or it may conflict with laws and regulations (such as chain letters, urging them to perform illegal acts). Spam steals bandwidth in the network and storage in the post office servers and mail clients.

What is Phishing

Phishing is a form of spam in which the person sending the message tries to trick the recipient to enter a user name, password and / or personal information. These messages will either ask you to reply to the email with the information they seek or ask you to login to a website (link phishing).

What are we doing to prevent spam?

The Arctic University of Norway uses a method called "greylisting". The method works because the ones sending out spam are only concerned about sending out as many messages as possible within a timeframe, and does not care if every message reaches it's recipient. Greylisting means our email system generates a temporary error message when unknown emails are received. A legit email server will try to re-send the mail again at a later point in time, while the email server of those sending out spam will usually discard any error messages. When the legit email is sent once again it goes through our system and reaches the recipient without any issues.

How can you protect yourself from spam?

Be wary of e-mails asking you to give away personal information, log on to services,uses bad language, or otherwise seem suspicious. Keep in mind that the University will never ask for your username or password in an email. If you're uncertain if an email is spam/phishing or legit, please contact orakelet


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