Color coded Email Safety Tips for Office 365 users

Just sending unsafe emails to the Junk mail folder is not enough. The Office 365 team is adding an extra layer of protection for the email users. The malware attacks and spam, are so well done today that they look real and legitimate to its users. Safety tips are important in fighting phishing scams, online frauds. This new functionality by Office 365 adds an additional layer of protection for its users.

An additional layer of protection will provide a warning to the user in an email marked as suspicious, or a reassurance if the message is Safe. The safety tip when included will be displayed in the messaging bar at top of the mail. And these will be color coded indicating the categories either the message is Suspicious, Unknown Trusted or Safe.

Four types of safety color tips which will be seen in the Outlook on the Web experience, while Outlook clients for desktop and mobile will display only the Red safety tip for suspicious mails. These safety tips will only be added when there’s information users need. So most of the messages in inbox will not have safety tip.

The details of the color coded email safety tips are given below.

Color coded email safety tips

  • Red safety tip – Messages marked Suspicious have a red safety tip. These are either known phishing messages, failed sender authentication, spoofing message suspect or some other criteria that Exchange Online Protection has used to determine that the message is fraudulent. Seeing this tip, one should not interact with such messages and should delete.  Suspicious_Safety_Tip
  • Yellow safety tip – A yellow bar at the top of the message indicates an Unknown safety level. It has been marked as unknown. This means Exchange Online Protection has marked the message as spam. If you think it’s not a spam, one can click it’s not a spam link in the yellow bar to move the message to inbox from junk mail. Unknown_Safety_Tip
  • Green safety tip – Messages from domains that are identified by Microsoft as being safe are considered Trusted and these kind of messages display a green bar at top of messages. Trusted_Safety_Tip
  • Gray Safety tip – Those emails which are not filtered for spam as they have already been considered safe by user’s organization or its on the user’s safe senders list or the Exchange Online Protection though marked it a junk but the user moved it out of junk folder to inbox. Such type of messages are marked with gray safety tip. The gray safety bar also appears when images within the message are disabled. Safe_Safety_Tip

What criteria determines the type of safety tip?

Exchange Online protection being an industry leading solution for securing emails, analyzes data patterns across millions of emails to identify spam, malware and phishing threats. Based on this Exchange Online Protection identifies suspicious messages and it applies the appropriate safety tip accordingly.

Apart from this, users can also report messages for the Office team to analyze and further improve data pattern making the experience better.

These Safety Tips in Exchange Online Protection will start rolling out to all users, over the coming weeks.

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The author has been a Microsoft MVP awardee in various Windows categories (2006-2016) and currently a Windows Insider MVP. A Technology Enthusiast, interested in anything technical and is committed to Microsoft technologies and products. He is actively associated with various Microsoft online communities, forums, Newsgroups and has been actively involved in Beta testing various Microsoft products and bug submissions.