Spam mail, phishing and virus

Spam mail or junk emails are the digital equivalent of undesired advertising. Roughly 95% of all emails sent to Umeå University are considered junk. As a result, the University has a spam filter that filters all incoming emails to reduce the amount of unwanted emails in your inbox.

Every day, about 0.5–1 million emails are sent to recipients at Umeå University. Roughly 95% of these are considered spam mail. To ensure that all these emails do not end up in your inbox, the university-wide email service uses a spam filter to filter out unwanted emails.

The spam filter uses several techniques to filter out emails. The filter checks the reliability of the sending server, if the sender and server match, if the message is well-known spam, and scans emails for viruses if they contain attachments.

Release or block emails stuck in the spam filter

The spam filter will delete messages containing viruses and will quarantine confirmed spam emails for 30 days. You will be notified if an email has been caught in the spam filter. You may then either release it or block the sender.

Instructions for how to block or release emails from the spam filter, Manual

Limitations in sending emails

Your email account is restricted in how many emails you may send in one day. This is a security measure in place to ensure that your email account cannot be used to send spam mail if your account has been compromised or infected by a virus.

If this restriction causes a problem, please contact Servicedesk.

If you wish to submit emails to a large number of recipients, an alternative is to use email lists.

Read more about email lists (Sympa) (Information in Swedish)

What is spam mail?

Spam mail is unwanted or junk emails. This is the equivalent of undesired advertising you may receive in your post box. Spam mail come at a huge cost to the University, but also pose a security risk; particularly when it is a phishing attempt. The objective of sending spam email is usually to:

  • make money on those responding to the email;
  • commit phishing fraud to access passwords, credit or bank card details, etc;
  • spread harmful code to recipients' computers with the purpose of taking over control of the computer to access servers and systems, or encrypt your data and demand ransom.

What is phishing?

Phishing is a type of spam mail with the objective of getting the recipient to fill out personal data such as login details. Emails are often in Swedish and look like they come from Umeå University or a trustworthy company. If you need help to assess if an email is legit or fake, take a look at the Frequently Asked Questions.

What are viruses?

A virus is an unwanted programme multiplying itself to infect more computers. A virus can be found on one computer but then rapidly spread to other computers and university systems, and this can cause extensive damage. Umeå University have several security measures in place to avoid viruses – filtering spam mail is one of those measures.

But your action is important. Make sure to always update your operating systems and programmes to the last available version to avoid security issues.

Frequently asked questions about spam mail, phishing and viruses

How do I determine if an email is fake or legit?

Sometimes, it is difficult to judge if an email is legit, but here is a test you can make:

  • Check the sender's email address. If the message comes from an email account that does not correspond to the official email address format, this could be phishing.
  • Check any links in the email. Hover the cursor over the link without clicking to determine where it leads. If the link points to a suspicious web address, do not click the link.
  • Check the language. Phishing emails are often machine translated, which means they are not always linguistically perfect.
  • Visit the official web page of the assumed sender. This may contain phishing warnings. If you wish to see phishing warnings for Umeå University, please visit the IRT blog.
  • If the email is requesting your details, this indicates a phishing attempt. Those details could be login details, bank account details or other data. Umeå University will never send you an email requesting your password, for instance.

An email has been sent to me, but I haven't received it. Why?

This could have multiple reasons; the message might have got caught in a spam filter, for instance. On Umeå University's website Manual, you can find suggestions on how to find lost emails.

I receive a lot of spam mail, what can I do about it?

If receiving a lot of spam mail causes problems for you, please contact Servicedesk.

I still receive emails from a sender I have blocked – what to do?

When marking an email as spam in your email client, this only stores locally on your computer. If you receive emails that you suspect are spam mail, please report these to If the email is assessed as spam, ITS can adjust the overall email filter.

have you received suspicious email?

Report an IT security incident

Forward spam/phishing attempts to

Stay updated

Follow the IRT blog for IT security issues (Swedish only)

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Contact Servicedesk when you need assistance such as technical support or to request access to a system.

Servicedesk contact form
Phone: +46 90-786 63 00


Manuals and instructions can be found on the website Manual.

System reports – Driftinformation (Swedish only)

Provides information on system disruptions and planned updates.

Sofia Westerlund