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Microsoft Launches Safety Tips for Outlook and Office 365 to Protect Against Threatening Emails


The new Safety Tips feature will warn users against potential threats and spam in their email accounts, using a traffic light color system to keep users informed.

Microsoft has launched a new feature for Office 365, which the company thinks will help users avoid becoming the victim of cybercrime, or merely to avoid unwanted spam.

Email Safety Tips is a simple concept that gives color coded warnings (tips) about emails, letting users of Office 365 know if the mail is safe or not.

Safety Tips will be making their debut over the coming weeks in Exchange Online Protection, available to all users of Outlook on the web.

Microsoft says the Safety Tips will add another level of protection against spam and malware attacks that are designed to look legitimate and often confuse users.

The company adds that not all emails will be flagged with a Safety Tips tag, and most (personal correspondence and business) will not come with a tip. The warnings will only be added to an email when Microsoft’s algorithms pick up on something that the user should be aware of.

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.

That of course begs the question, how does the company decide which emails need Safety Tips, and which do not?

In a blog post to announce the feature, Microsoft says Exchange Online Protection analyzes millions of emails looking for malware attacks and just plain old spam. The platform is able to detect these kinds of emails and understand whether it requires a warning for users.

It is also possible for users to send suspicious emails to Microsoft for the company to analyze, and the company adds that it will be updating the service regularly to keep up to speed with the newest phishing scams and malware attacks.

SOURCE: Office Blog

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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