COVID-19 Advice for the JCU Community - Last updated: 22 October 2021, 8am (AEST)

Email Spam and Attachments

What is Spam?

Spam is unsolicited bulk messaging, often sent as advertising, marketing, or for prohibited and fraudulent purposes such as phishing. While the most widely recognised form of spam is email spam, the term is applied to platforms such as instant messaging, blogs, mobile phone messages, and social media. From the sender's point-of-view spam is often seen as legitimate, while to the receiver it usually appears as junk email.

There are a number of ways through which spam can be minimised or eliminated.

Dealing with Spam

Office 365 accounts

Messages sent to a JCU email address will be automatically scanned and filtered. Detected viruses will be removed, quarantined or placed in your junk folder for you to review. It is important to periodically check your Junk folder to avoid missing a real message mistakenly marked as spam.

DO NOT reply to spam emails or forward them to friends and colleagues.

Reporting Spam

To report spam that is originating from within JCU, send all relevant details (including full message headers) to ithelpdesk@jcu.edu.au, along with a short explanation, and your report will be investigated.
The simplest way to include all information is to forward the email as an attachment.

Attachments

Known viruses and dangerous file types are often stripped from email, both those originating from within JCU and send from external systems. Communication platforms such as Teams and OneDrive are designed for sharing files and are preferred. If you do need to send or receive files via email and are having issues then the main IT Help Desk can help.

Opening Attachments Safely

Regard anything that meets the following criteria with particular suspicion:

DO:

  • Be careful of email that has been identified as Spam.  Automated spam identification is not perfect, but provides a very good indicator of unsolicited email.

  • Be cautious of email from someone you don't know, who has no legitimate reason to send you an email.

  • Be cautious if the message seems uncharacteristic of the sender.

DON'T open attachments:

  • Which arrive with an empty message.

  • Which are not referenced in the message.

  • Which appear to be inappropriate material such as pornographic.
  • If the message doesn't include any personal references at all, for instance, a short message that just says something like "You must take a look at this", or "I'm sending you this because I need your advice".

  • Which have a filename extension that indicates it is a program file.

  • Have a double extension, like FILENAME.JPG.vbs or FILENAME.TXT.scr.

In all the above instances, it is recommended that you check with the sender that they knowingly sent the mail/attachment in question.