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All email originating from outside the College, except for those from approved College services like Canvas, will show a highlighted bar in the body of the email stating “This is an External Email. Please be cautious when opening attachments and/or clicking links.”

This is a safety feature to make it easier for you to spot fake (phishing) emails that may pretend to be sent from your instructors or from other College departments.

A message with this disclaimer does not mean the email is malicious; only that recipients should be cautious. The tag does not indicate a message is unsafe; conversely, a message’s lack of a disclaimer tag does not indicate it is safe. A tag is informational to help you be aware of the message’s origin.

Do not click on links or open attachments in messages that are unfamiliar. If you are questioning whether an email is suspicious, please contact the IT Help Desk at x8060 or

Microsoft Safe Links and Safe Attachments features were introduced in October 2018.

Microsoft Safe Links checks all links in an email to see if they are malicious.

This will help protect you from links that may appear to be for legitimate college websites but are actually attempts to steal your information.

When a message contains a clickable image or text, the original address of the link will be replaced with a “safe link.” The safe link directs your browser to an Office 365 service that tests to determine if the original address is potentially dangerous. Safe links contain “” near the beginning of the link. If you hover your mouse over a link, you’ll see where the link points.

If the site linked is determined to be malicious, you will receive a warning message when you click on the link. See this Microsoft web page for an example and for more information.

Microsoft Safe Attachments will scan all email attachments for malware and other malicious content.

This will help protect you from attachments that may appear to be documents but are actually viruses or other damaging executables.

When a message contains one or more attachments, all attachments will be scanned before delivering the message. It may take 1 to 2 minutes for messages with attachments to be delivered.

Email messages with attachments that test positive will have the attachment removed, and the message will be “quarantined” in the “Junk Items” folder in your College mailbox.

Make sure you update your password on all your devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, office computers, home computers, etc.)

Go to this link.

Go to this link.

Use the Set Up Your Account link

  • Type in your account name and enter the characters in the picture.
  • Choose “I forgot password” on next screen.
  • The system will email a temporary passcode to your personal email account on file.
  • Set your password.

The College requires your password to be a minimum length of 14 characters. It is highly recommended that you use a passphrase.

We have all legitimately forgotten a password and need a few tries to get back into a system. However, your account will be locked for 15 minutes after 7 failed password attempts from known devices. If you are accessing College systems from an unknown device, your account will be locked for 15 minutes after 5 failed password attempts.

When changing your password, the system remembers your last 3 passwords. Don’t reuse your passwords. You must choose a new password.

A good strong password will last for a year or more. The College will not require you to change your password. You should change your password when you want to or if there is indication of a breach.

The College does not require a minimum age for passwords. This is necessary when the IT Help Desk needs to assist with a password reset, as it allows the user the change their password via the Self-Service Password Reset the same day.

Search engines and email programs mean well when they ask you this, but it is just another risk for having your password compromised.

When changing your password, the College will verify that the new password is not included on a list of dictionary words, guessable patterns and known compromised passwords. This process will occur automatically. If the password is found on the list, you will receive a message similar to “Your password contains a word, phase, or pattern that makes it easily guessable. Please try again with a different password.”

Committing all of your passwords to memory might get tricky. Discarded Post-It notes can be all a hacker needs to access your accounts. Password managers store all your login information for different accounts in an encrypted database. The database is secured using a single master password. You will only need to remember one password.

Passphrases can contain spaces and are longer than any random string of letters. An example is “the road to success is always under construction.” Passphrases are easier to remember and harder to crack. When choosing a passphrase, make sure it is easy for you to remember, but preferably not a common or popular quote that can be easily guessed by someone who knows you.

Password reuse is a serious problem because of the many password leaks that occur each year. When your password leaks, malicious individuals have an email address, username and password combination they can try on other systems or websites. If you use the same login information everywhere, a leak at one system or website could give people access to all your accounts. If someone gains access to your email account in this way, they could use password-reset links to access other websites, like your college account, online banking, etc.

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