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Cybersecurity TIP of the Week – Let’s Talk Email (Signatures and Contacts)


This week’s tip is a 2-for-1 deal. First, a reminder that UTHSC has a standardized email signature, and there are security reasons why to use it. Second, it is time to clean out old contacts and groups from your Contact list. Why give yourself an opportunity to send information to an unintended audience?

Email Signatures

Using standardized email signatures is a simple and effective tool that aids in detection of phishing attacks. When all members of an organization follow the format of applying their email signature line consistently across the enterprise, it serves as a quick visual check that an email may or may not be legitimate.

Although it is easily duplicated by a nefarious actor; any deviation to the standard email signature format can serve as one more red flag that the email you received is a phishing attack.

UTHSC does require a standardized email signature line. You can find a tool HERE (NetID and Password required) which formats this required email signature for you. For more tips on how to spot phishing emails, and how to report and respond to them, and other cybersecurity tips visit the Office of Cybersecurity webpage HERE.

Old Contacts or Contact Groups

We all want to work smarter, not harder. An easy way of doing this is creating Contact Groups in Outlook (or other email platforms) for ease of sending emails to the same group of people consistently. However, as jobs and responsibilities change, keeping those old groups may lead to sending information to the wrong people, potentially causing harm to the University. Deleting old contact groups or reviewing and updating ones still needed are good security practices to make sure your communications are only going to the correct individuals.