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Reporting Suspicious Emails - New Tool for Outlook: PhishAlarm

On 2/16/21, we will be rolling out a new tool for reporting suspicious emails. This tool, called PhishAlarm, is a Microsoft Outlook add-in that lets you report suspicious email by simply clicking a button in your toolbar. Microsoft Outlook is the only ITS supported email client, this tool will not work with other clients, but will work with the Outlook Web App (https://owa.fairfield.edu). The email is then automatically forwarded to security analysts to determine if it is a real phishing attack. This is in place of the current process of forwarding emails to phishing@fairfield.edu.

How PhishAlarm Works


When you receive a suspicious-looking email in Outlook, look for the PhishAlarm button either within the message preview pane or the opened message. Click the PhishAlarm button and select “Report Phish.”

You will receive a confirmation pop-up or email that will notify you if the email you reported is suspicious, a training exercise, or considered safe.

The reported email will be automatically forwarded to a security analyst for further review. The email may also be moved into your Trash folder.

What to Report

Please review any email carefully before you click on the PhishAlarm button. Here are a few tips for spotting phishing emails:

  • Don’t trust the display name – A favorite phishing tactic among cyber criminals is to fake the “From” name in an email to try to fool you.
  • Check the links – Hover your mouse over any links in the body of the email. If the link address looks suspicious or contains numbers or special characters, don’t click on it.
  • Check for spelling mistakes – Legitimate messages from companies should not have major spelling mistakes or poor grammar.
  • Beware of urgent or threatening language in the subject line – Invoking a sense of urgency or fear is a common phishing tactic. Always be suspicious of subject lines claiming your “account has been suspended” or your account had an “unauthorized login attempt.”
  • Don’t open attachments – Phishing emails often include attachments that contain viruses and malicious software, known as malware. Attackers can use malware to damage files on your computer, spy on you, steal your passwords, and more. Don’t open any email attachments you aren’t expecting.
  • Questions?

Please contact the Helpdesk.




For more information, contact IT Security / 203-254-4171 / ITSecurity@fairfield.edu