2. What to do about junk mail

The official recommendation from the JANET authorities is simply to delete the message. We very strongly advise you not to respond in any way, particularly to the more "undesirable" mail. A silence may discourage the sender; any response, assuming it gets through, is liable to elicit even more unwanted correspondence. Some senders will try to goad you into replying ("you are on a list of people interested in this topic"). A reply will promote you from just one of thousands of addresses, many of which are not valid, to a real person who reads their email, on whom they can concentrate their attentions. It is widely believed that many of the 'Unsubscribe' links given in spam messages are also used to collect live email addresses, although some, of course, will be genuine.

If you receive junk or offensive email, it is important to be aware that the apparent sender whose name may appear in the "From:" line could easily be a forgery, either put there deliberately to fool you, or as the result of certain types of viruses which can use someone's email address book to send out virus infected messages. Finding out the real source of an email involves looking through the message's full headers list which charts its route around the internet.

If you think the sender is from Oxford University, or could be mistaken as such by other users, then please send a copy including all the mail header information to phishing@it.ox.ac.uk. See our documentation on phishing for more information.

If you are really worried about breaking the chain of a chain mail letter, send it to thechainstopshere@pavilion.co.uk (but it would be preferable just to delete it.)

You can use the Nexus account settings to reduce the amount of spam you receive in your inbox. All email received at Oxford is scanned for viruses and junk mail. The system relies on the number of stars a message receives. Where the message is known to be spam, it is given a high number of stars, where it is know not to be spam, e.g. internal Oxford addresses, it is given a low star score. You can set up a filter, which removes email with stars above a chosen value to your junk message folder. Most email clients will also have a feature for filtering messages.

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