Today’s spam and malware attacks are sometimes so well-crafted they may look legitimate to your users, and putting messages into the Junk Email folder isn’t enough. Over the coming weeks, we are rolling out Safety Tips in Exchange Online Protection, an additional layer of protection for all users that provides a warning to the user in an email that is marked suspicious, or a reassurance when a message is safe.
When a message includes a safety tip, the tip will be displayed in a messaging bar at the top of the email in one of four color-coded categories indicating that the message is either Suspicious, Unknown, Trusted or Safe.
- Messages marked Suspicious have a red safety tip and are either a known phishing message, have failed sender authentication, are a suspected spoofing message or have met some other criteria that Exchange Online Protection has used to determine the message is fraudulent. You should not interact with suspicious messages and instead should delete them.
- A yellow bar at the top of the message indicates an Unknown safety level. Being marked as Unknown indicates that Exchange Online Protection has marked the message as spam. You can click the It’s not spam link in the yellow bar of a junk mail item to move the message to your inbox.
- Messages from a Trusted sender display a green bar at the top of the message. These are from domains identified by Microsoft as being safe.
- Messages marked with a gray safety tip indicates that the email was not filtered for spam because it is either considered Safe by the user’s organization, is on the user’s safe senders list or Exchange Online Protection marked the message as junk but the user moved it out of the junk folder to the inbox. The gray safety bar also appears when images within the message have been disabled.
All four types of Safety Tips are included in the Outlook on the web experience, whereas Outlook clients, whether desktop or mobile, will display only the Suspicious safety tip. Most messages in your inbox will not have a safety tip; we only add them when we have information users need.
How do we determine which Safety Tip to apply?
As an industry-leading solution for securing your email, Exchange Online Protection analyzes data patterns across millions of emails to identify spam, malware and phishing threats. Based on this ongoing analysis, Exchange Online Protection is able to identify suspicious messages and apply the appropriate Safety Tip.
Users can also report misclassified messages back to us for analysis. We’ll take these samples and use them to make your experience better.
Safety Tips are an important tool in combating phishing scams and online fraud. With this new functionality, Office 365 automatically provides an additional layer of protection for all its users. We will continue to enrich the Safety Tips feature to ensure our users have the best experience.
—The Office 365 team