Awareness : Security Awareness Tips

Email Safety

Electronic Mail (Email) is rapidly becoming the preferred method of business communication because it is fast, inexpensive, and relatively simple to use. This innovation however is not flawless: Email is one of leading conduits of malware across computer networks through infected messages and/or their attachments.

Email is often used to spread hoaxes, causing undue concern and insensitivity to real future threats. Email typically makes numerous stops at computers along the route to its final destination. At each stop, it can be intercepted and read by prying eyes.

To minimize exposure to infected email and/or attachments, be sure you have up-to-date anti-virus software installed on your computer. Be cautious when opening attachments with file extensions such as *.exe, .bat, .com, .vbs, .scr*, etc. as they may be malicious. For information on what file extensions are and how to display them please visit

Only open an attachment if you are expecting one and if you know the sender. If you receive a suspicious email with or without an attachment do not open it, save it, view it or store it.

Always employ some form of encryption if you must use email to communicate any confidential or highly sensitive data, especially personal, financial or health information.

Contact your email administrator if you need further assistance. For additional email safety tips please visit

Posted February 1, 2005