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Safe Links Spam Protection Available in Microsoft Outlook & Gmail

Safe Links

Part of Microsoft's Defender platform, Safe Links helps better protect the UIC Community from malicious links sent via email. In addition to protection for Microsoft Office online and desktop versions, Safe Links is now also available for UIC Gmail.

How does it work?

When a link in an Outlook or Gmail email or Microsoft Office document is clicked, Safe Links performs a scan to determine if the link is malicious. Safe Links also scans any documents available on that link at the time of click to prevent malicious file downloads to your system.
If the URL leads to an attachment, the attachment will be scanned for malware. If the URL is identified as insecure, you will be taken to a page displaying a warning message.

What looks different?

The hyperlink in every email that you receive will be rewritten and appear differently than they are currently displayed. Here is an example of a URL rewritten with Safe Links:

The sections include:

  1. - the Microsoft Safe Links proxy server. (The first part of this name will vary).
  2. ? – the destination web address.
  3. – the email address of the recipient. (Your email address will only appear in emails within your own inbox).

If you click on one of these links and the webpage is deemed malicious, you will see a warning message that prompts you to navigate away from the site. Otherwise, you will reach the intended destination site.

What are the benefits of Safe Links?

  • Safe Links helps prevent inadvertent access to malware through links and attachments. The solution is seamless from a user experience perspective, and the product is unobtrusive, working efficiently in the background.
  • URLs are examined in real-time, at the time a user clicks them. If a link is unsafe, the user is not permitted to visit the site.
  • Phishing URLs in email messages do not normally contain malicious content but have malicious intent. Safe Links will allow IT administrators to block unwanted URLs to protect the UIC community from phishing URLS.
  • Reporting is available that allows IT security personnel to track successful clicks on phishing links that were not blocked so that they can scramble passwords to prevent attackers from using phished information.

Learn more about Safe Links and how it works.