At Mount Royal University, we now have lots of diligent users reporting phishing emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. The IT security team is over the moon with the wonderful responses we are getting. However, we are getting quite a few that people find in their Spam folder. So I thought I would take a moment to explain how your Spam folder works and what to do with the emails that find their way there.
First off, for those who have no idea what I am talking about, your Spam folder is found in Gmail. Email that Google thinks is malicious or spam is sent there. Often its links and/or attachments are disabled or removed. Google determines if an email is malicious or spam using a variety of criteria. Examples of this criteria include containing known malware or phishing links.
Occasionally newsletters you subscribe to or emails from vendors can end up in the Spam folder by accident. That is why the emails aren’t deleted outright. You have the opportunity to scan through the folder and check and make sure nothing that you actually want to receive has made its way there.
As the Spam folder can fill up pretty quickly with hundreds of emails, I usually recommend that once a week you take a quick scan through your spam and then delete its contents. This prevents you from getting overwhelmed with an overloaded folder.
If you find a phishing email in your Spam folder, Google already knows about it and doesn’t need to be notified. However if you find one that is especially concerning and think the Mount Royal Community should be warned, please forward it to email@example.com. When you do, let us know that it came from your Spam folder so we know who needs to be notified.
For more information about the Spam folder, how to mark or unmark messages as spam and other spam related questions, check out Gmail Help.