Below are some definitions and recommendations to  keep your email safe and secure. Attacks are growing and becoming more sophisticated. Sewanee has mechanisms in place to try to prevent attacks, but our systems cannot catch them all.

Spamming is the use of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited messages (spam), especially advertising, as well as sending messages repeatedly on the same site. If an email looks like SPAM, you should not click on any of the links. They can contain viruses that will infect your computer and spread the SPAM to individuals in your address book.

Email spoofing is the creation of email messages with a forged sender address. Spam and phishing emails typically use such spoofing to mislead the recipient about the origin of the message. If you suspect an email to you has been spoofed, you should select Reply and check the reply-to address which can often be different.

Phishing is the attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money), often for malicious reasons, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.

Backscatter is incorrect automated bounce messages sent to spoofed email accounts by mail servers, typically as a side effect of incoming spam.


What you can do to help protect you and your accounts from all of this:

Strong Passwords
Gmail accounts are usually hacked through automated brute force attacks where many passwords are tried until one works. Make sure your password is strong.

Two-Step Authentication
Google's Two-Step Authentication is highly recommended. This will prevent new sign-ins with your account unless a code is entered. The code can be sent to or created on your mobile phone. Many banks and financial institutions use this method because it is so secure.

Security Checklist
The tips and tools in this checklist can help prevent unauthorized access to your Gmail and secure your account if it was recently compromised. If you believe your Sewanee email account has been compromised, please contact the Sewanee Helpdesk at or call 598-1369.


Review your sign-in and security features at Google.

More info from Google on Security and Privacy: