Office 365 security improvements

You may be aware of the recent publicity around an increase in phishing attacks and data breaches. We are taking steps to enable functionality in Office 365 to reduce the likelihood and impact of these attacks.

This functionality is already implemented in many organisations including Universities, as well all personal Office 365 subscriptions. It is highly effective, whilst introducing minimal change to staff and students.

The changes affect all of Office 365, but the most visible change will be to your University email.

What is changing?

Links in Office 365 apps

Links to untrusted sources will be replaced in all Office 365 applications. Links to trusted sources e.g. the University website, won’t be altered. This means if a website is malicious, you will be redirected to a warning page, rather than the website and you will not be able to navigate to it.

What do these replaced links look like?

If you hover over a link in an email or document in Office 365 you will see a ‘Safelink’, which will look something like:

In Office online, Office 365 Pro Plus (Office for home use) or the Outlook on the web, a tooltip will show the original link, so you can easily see the original email.

Currently this tooltip will not appear on the desktop versions of Office on your University PC e.g. Outlook 2016.

Junk mail

You may notice a change to emails being delivered to the Junk mail folder in University email account and so you should:

  • Continue to monitor your junk mail folder to ensure that legitimate emails are not delivered there
  • Move emails out of the junk email if they are legitimate. This will train Office 365 and reduce the chance of similar emails being moved to the junk mail folder in future
  • Use the 'Junk' features in Outlook or Outlook on the web, to report junk or phishing emails

Some emails may show a notification message, which explains why the email has been categorised as junk mail.

Need IT help?

Find out more about IT Services including training and help at or contact the IT Service Desk on 0116 252 2253.

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