Email Security Best Practices

Email is an integral form of communication at LSU, allowing our students, faculty and staff the ability to collaborate quickly and easily. Despite its convenience, email is susceptible to attacks that can compromise your account, personal information, and your entire computer. It is important to use e-mail with caution and to understand its inherent risks to protect yourself from common threats such as spam, phishing, and viruses. Here are some ways you can protect yourself:

  • Use caution with email attachments
    • Never open or download an attachment from an unknown source. Attachments may contain viruses that can compromise your computer and personal information, and therefore must be approached with caution. 
    • Keep your software up to date. Keeping software current on your machine can protect your computer from attached viruses that exploit vulnerabilities of older software. 
    • If an attachment is related to Microsoft Office (e.g., Excel, Word, PowerPoint) and it requests you to enable Macros, please do not enable them until you are sure that the attachment is legitimate.
  • Be aware of phishing scams
    • Phishing is an attempt by a malicious actor pretending to be a legitimate enterprise for the purpose of stealing private information, such as usernames, passwords, social security numbers, and other sensitive data. 
    • Learn about the Anatomy of a Phishing Email
  • Be mindful of what information you send via email
    • Never send personal information such as passwords, social security numbers, or credit card numbers via email. Email should not be treated as a secure communications channel for sensitive data. 
  • Never reply to spam emails
    • Do not reply to any email from an unknown source. Doing so may expose you to more spam in the future. 
  • Create a strong email password