Introducing Safe Links

July 19, 2018

Monday, July 23 

In response to increased phishing attacks targeting the SeattleU community, our ITS security team is launching Safe Links. Safe Links will protect SeattleU by providing time-of-click protection to help prevent users from opening or accessing malicious links within emails.

How does this impact me? 

When this application goes live on July 23, any links included in emails to SeattleU campus members will be scanned and evaluated for threats. If a URL is flagged as malicious, a warning webpage will load, preventing the user from vising the website. If the URL is determined to be safe, the webpage will open as usual.  

A screenshot of the window that appears when Safe Links finds a malicious URL.

If you have a slow internet connection, it is possible that you may see the following screen while the URL is being scanned. If you see this, just wait a few moments until the page loads or the warning page appears:

A screenshot of the window that may appear when Safe Links is scanning a URL.

You may notice that URLs look much longer in emails. This is a reflection that Safe Links has evaluated the links. The Safe Links code wraps around the original link. To avoid extra long URLs, be sure to send your emails with HTML formatting. When sent this way, the long URL will only appear when the mouse cursor hovers over the link.

A screenshot of a safe links URL embedded in an HTML email. 

What actions do I need to take? 

None! Safe Links is an automated application to ensure the links in your emails are safe. If you believe a link is being flagged as malicious in error or if you believe a link should have been blocked but wasn’t, please contact the Help Desk so we can get our security team investigating the incident as quickly as possible. 

 

FAQ

Why are we using Safe Links?

  • ITS is implementing this application to improve our services to campus and prevent our community's accounts from being compromised.

Will this show up on my Mac?

  • Yes, Safe Links will be utilized in all versions of Outlook.

Will this look the same in the web browser and the desktop client?

  • The implementation will look a little different across various versions of Outlook, but it will be working just as well across all platforms.

Does this apply to SeattleU webpages?

  • Yes. Safe Links will scan webpages from seattleu.edu as well as outside URLs.

Somebody sent me a link that I know is safe, but it is being blocked. What do I do?

  • Please call or email the Help Desk, who will have our security team safelist the URL.

I clicked a link that was approved by Safe Links, but I think it was actually malicious! What do I do?

  • Please call or email the Help Desk immedately and our security team will blocklist the URL and ensure your account hasn't been compromised.

Does Safe Links prevent me from receiving Phising emails?

  • Safe Links won't stop you from receiving the phishing email, but it should stop you from being able to click the links contained in the email.

Does Safe Links apply to all emails?

  • Safe Links applies to emails sent from outside to SU and within SU, but not from SU to outside (unless you are including a forwarded message that has already been scanned).

The link I pasted into an email looks really long. What do I do? 

  • We recommend sending your emails with HTML formatting. This way, the extra long URL will only appear when the mouse cursor hovers over the link.

Does Safe Links apply to all SU email accounts?

  • Safe Links applies to all current students, faculty, and staff. Alumni and Emeriti accounts are not currently covered by Safe Links.