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Email Best Practices

Email is inherently insecure. Many email users do not realize this and put themselves and Mills College at risk by using email irresponsibly. Here are some basic recommendations to follow when using email:

1. Mills College will never solicit your password. Therefore, please do not share it with anyone, not even someone you trust. Your password must be protected in all situations.

2. Do not put any sensitive or private information in an email message or an email attachment. This includes: passwords, social security or driver’s license numbers, credit card, bank, or other account numbers.

3. Avoid phishing attacks—fraudulent email messages attempting to trick you into divulging private information. Never answer email or click links 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. 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.

5. Only open email from trusted sources.

  • A reputable business will never ask you to provide your password through email.
  • For emails from an individual, 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 was a legitimate email.
  • If you receive an email asking you to click a link in regards to an account, do not click the link, especially if you did not expect the email, instead go to their official website using their URL (for example, Mills College website URL is

6. Even if email is received from a trusted source, only open links to web pages and attachments you’re expecting—the email sender's machine may be infected with a virus and automatically sending the link or attachment to you.

7. To avoid excessive spam, be cautious about where you post your email address. 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 degree of 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 assistance, please contact the Information Technology HelpDesk at 510.430.2005, email, or submit a request at


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Information Technology Helpdesk
Lucie Stern Hall 21

P: 510.430.2005

Last Updated: 7/27/17