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How to Deal with Spam

Spam is a major hassle for an organization as large as NYU. It can be anything from a minor annoyance to a potential threat to your account. However, spam can easily be dealt with, and should not cause you any undue concern. Below are some guidelines for how to recognize and deal with spam. 

Spam Resources

NYU has created some useful articles on handling spam when you receive it, and on how to use your email's spam filter to catch unwanted emails. A more detailed tutorial on using Gmail's spam filter is available here, and a detailed guide on recognizing spam can be found here.

Guidelines for Recognizing and Handling Spam

  • It is important to remember that spammers cannot get anything from you unless you give it to them. Simply having spam in your inbox is not a threat; in general, as long as you do not give out your password, it is secure.
  • Always check the sender on an email that you suspect is spam, or that comes from someone you do not know. Any email from NYU ITS will say so in the email address. Make sure that you check the email address itself (not just the name that is displayed) by clicking the down arrow next to the recipients at the top of the email. It may say that it is from someone you know, but if it doesn't sound right the email address will confirm if it's spam.
  • Check the links that the email wants you to click. Do not type your NYU password into sites that do not have "nyu.edu" at the end or somewhere in the address. 
  • If you get a spam message in your Gmail/NYU inbox, you can flag it by clicking the "Report Spam" button at the top (an octagon with an exclamation point in it). This will help your email program's automatic spam filter catch such messages in the future. Other email clients will have a similar feature. 
  • Note: Your email's automatic spam filter may occasionally catch messages that you actually want to receive. Make sure that you check your spam folder periodically, and if you see a message that you didn't want to be filtered as spam, select the message and click the "not spam" button at the top of the page.
  • To reduce the possibility of spam, do not distribute your email address online to untrustworthy sites. Check websites' privacy policies (which can usually be found in the footer of the page): they should tell you that they will never sell your email address and that email updates can be unsubscribed from, etc.
  • When in doubt, do not click the links or download anything from an email that you think is spam. 
  • If you get a spam message, simply flag it as spam and delete it.
 
Below are some examples as to what a spam message may look like, and what a real email from NYU ITS should look like.

Sample Spam Message

Sample spam message

Markers of spam: notice the grammar/spelling errors, the email does not use the recipient's name, etc.

Sample NYU ITS Message

Sample genuine NYU ITS email

Emails from askits@nyu.edu are always real.