Dealing with Junk Email and Spam

Dealing with junk email and spam

Everyone who uses email eventually has to deal with unwanted email or junk email (oftentimes called spam). Email isn't the only target of spam. Spam is sent to fax machines, text pagers, via instant messaging, and posted on websites. But spam email is the most common form of spamming.

Spammers send junk email because it is effective at tricking people to do things and run malware on their systems. Spam is used by various people that commit financial fraud, identity theft, and to spread malicious programs.

What you can do about it

Use a second email address from a free email service when signing up on websites, answering online surveys, or posting to news groups or blogs. You can abandon the second account when it becomes deluged with spam. Many Internet providers give you the option to create an "email alias" for such a purpose.

Currently, it's not possible to eliminate all junk email. Spam email is going to stay with us for some time to come. There are a few simple precautions you can take to help protect your email address and your computer from spam.

  • Be cautious when giving out your email address. Know who you are giving your email address to, why they need it and what it will be used for.
  • Ask companies about their privacy policy and opt-out policy.
  • Ask your Internet provider if they offer a spam filtering service.
  • Many newer email programs such as MS Outlook and Thunderbird have simple spam filtering capabilities built into them which can be enabled. Some web-based email services also have basic spam filtering features that can be enabled.
  • Set your email program to not display images (pictures) when they are embedded inside email messages.
  • Disable JavaScript and ActiveX in email messages.
  • Enable "view email as plain text only" mode, re-enable when needed.
  • Always be very cautious of e-mail attachments. Generally you should not open an email attachment unless all of the following are true:
    • You know the sender and have received legitimate email from them in the past.
    • The subject line makes sense to you.
    • The text of the message makes sense to you.
    • You were expecting the sender to send you a file attachment.
    • You know what the file attachment contains and why it was sent to you.
    • You have a good quality, up to date anti-virus scanner installed and running on your computer.
    • Never reply to junk email. Never click on any links in junk email. And never call any phone numbers found in junk email.
  • Train yourself to recognize junk email in your Inbox and delete it without opening it. Spam email should be reported and deleted.

If you receive a malicious or suspicious email to your MSU Denver email, please report it to the university using Microsoft's internal reporting tool. The exact method will vary depending on how you access your email:

  • Outlook Web App (
    1. Right-click the offending email
    2. Select “Report”
    3. Select “Report phishing” or “Report junk” as appropriate
  • Outlook Mobile App
    1. Highlight the offending email
    2. Tap the three dots in the upper-right
    3. Select “Report Junk”
    4. Select “Phishing”
  • Outlook Desktop App (Windows or Mac)
    1. Open the offending email (double-click to open in a new window)
    2. Click the Report Message button in the top ribbon
      • OR
    3. Open the offending email's context menu (right-click or double-click)
    4. Select "Junk" (Windows) / "Report" (Mac)
    5. Select a reporting option as appropriate

      If you do not have these reporting options on the desktop app, please see How do I install the Report Message Add-In for Outlook?
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Article ID: 121153
Wed 11/25/20 2:52 PM
Wed 2/7/24 3:24 PM