Email Best Practices

Email is inherently insecure, but a few simple best practices can help protect your data. Follow these tips for a safer email experience.

  1. Never share your password —not even someone you trust. Mills College will never ask for your password.
  2. Don't put sensitive or private information in an email message or attachment. This includes: passwords, social security or driver’s license numbers, credit card, bank, or other account numbers.
  3. Think before you click ;and avoid phishing attacks (fraudulent email messages attempting to trick you into divulging private information). Never answer an email or click a link in email asking you to update personal information. If you suspect a message is illegitimate, call the company directly at a number posted on a paper statement or invoice.
  4. Use anti-virus software. If you’re using a non-Mills-owned computer, ensure you have up-to-date virus protection software and the latest critical patches for your operating system. Mills provides free anti-virus software for personal computers to all of its students, faculty, and staff.
  5. Only open email from trusted sources.
    • Reputable businesses will never ask you to provide your password through email.
    • If you have never heard of the sender before, do not open any links or attachments.
    • If you receive an email from someone you know but it looks suspicious, contact the person through a separate email to ask if it is a legitimate message.
    • If you receive an email asking you to click a link to an account, don't click—especially if you did not expect the email. Instead go to their official website using their URL.
  6. Only follow links in an email or open an attachment in messages you’re expecting—even if the email is sent from a known and trusted source. The sender's machine may be infected with a virus and may be automatically sending the link or attachment to you.
  7. Be judicious about where you post your email address to reduce the amount of spam in your inbox. Only register your Mills email address with legitimate business websites. Use caution when signing up for vendor mailings—consider creating a generic Yahoo or Gmail account to use for these subscriptions or to register with sites you’re unsure about.
  8. Consider conducting your personal online business using a free email account rather than your Mills email address. Vendors often sell their customers’ addresses to third-party lists, which results in additional spam.
  9. Be aware that email correspondence from an email account provided by your employer is the property of your employer. Employees should conduct personal correspondence through a non-Mills email account.

Please note: Continued access to your Mills College email account is contingent upon your affiliation with Mills College. Students graduating, withdrawing, or being academically disqualified, and faculty or staff who are no longer employed by the College will cease to have access to their Mills email account.

For more assistance, please contact the Information Technology HelpDesk at 510.430.2005, email helpdesk@mills.edu, or submit a request at helpdesk.mills.edu.