Tips for Preventing Spam


Subscribing To Spam

Probably the most common reason people receive spam is because they subscribe to receive it. This is done while registering an account using your email address, or signing up for some kind of offer, etc. Whenever you have to enter your email address into a field on a form, check for an option that allows you to opt out of receiving marketing emails. If there is no option for that, you could also register using an email address designated for receiving spam. One of the common agreements you make when signing up using your email address is that the company you're giving your email address to is allowed to send you promotional and marketing emails, in addition to distributing your email address to other affiliates of theirs, so be careful when signing up using your email address!

Unsubscribing From Spam

The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 requires that all marketing and promotional emails have an obvious, functioning unsubscribe option. If you keep receiving unwanted spam, check for an unsubscribe link, usually placed at the bottom of emails with small text. This is an effective way to prevent spam from being sent to you. If the spam email you received doesn't seem fully credible, forward it to [email protected] and we can take a look at it for you and make sure the unsubscribe link is safe to click on in case you're worried about it. If a marketing or promotional email of some kind doesn't have an unsubscribe option, or it does but it doesn't work, forward it to us using the same email above and we'll block them from sending in again because they would be in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act.

Replying To Spam

If you receive a spam email that elicits a response, it's best not to respond to it, even if it seems like it's harmless. By responding, the spammer now knows that Utah Valley University is a good target for their spam attacks because they'll get people to reply. This is especially important when it comes to malicious emails. If nobody responds to a scammer, they will eventually give up on targeting us, but as long as they can continue getting people to reply or interact with their emails some other way, they'll continue to send in their emails. It is very important to be careful when responding to emails from someone you don't know, so always double check to make sure it's not spam of some kind.

Having Public Contact Information

One of the ways spammers get their contact lists is from using software to scan websites for email addresses. If you have your email address on a public webpage, then spammers will easily be able to send you their emails. It's necessary for a lot of faculty and employees at Utah Valley University to have public contact information, but if you don't have to have public contact information and you're receiving spam that you can't get to stop, consider removing your email address from public webpages. If you aren't sure whether or not you need to have your email address be public, please talk about it with your supervisor. Utah Valley University also has an online directory messaging system that anyone can use to send a message to faculty and employees without giving away an email address, so you'll still be able to be contacted through this messaging tool.
Managing Fortinet Block/Safe List
Sometimes there is spam that we aren't able to block at the system level. This usually includes spam-like emails that people want to receive that others might not want to, or it could include spam emails that are only sent to one or two people. In these situations we encourage you to block these spam emails through your personal Fortinet account. This can be done by logging into using your normal UVU credentials, clicking on the 'preferences' option in your account settings, scrolling down to the 'Antispam Management' section and clicking on '[Block...]', then adding the email address you wish to block to the list of blocked emails. More information regarding managing your personal Fortinet account can be found on the Fortinet Quarantine page.