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Update 21 October: Change to external email notification banner - 14 October 2021

21 October 2021

Update 21 October 2021

In response to user feedback we have today made a change to the appearance of the external email notification banner. This should mean that email messages are easier to read in preview format.

As previously stated, IT security is of primary importance at UCL. We have seen successful phishing attempts on UCL users only this week and we need to continue to raise awareness of the potential threats of opening emails from external users. Please report any suspicious emails to the UCL Information Security Group.


From 14 October a new email security feature will be released. Emails from outside UCL will be tagged at the beginning with a notification banner containing the text below:

“ ⚠ This sender is external to UCL, please take care when accessing any links or opening attachments"

Why is ISD doing this?

We are always working to improve the security of UCL IT systems and the data we store. With a specific focus on email we are introducing an additional feature to help reduce the likelihood of a successful phishing attempt.

Normally it is fairly obvious whether emails are from inside or outside UCL, but we do receive a number of scam emails which claim to be from staff members. We think this prompt will help you to quickly identify emails from outside UCL and think twice before opening them.

We filter out as many of these attacks as we can before they get to your inboxes. However, on busy days we’re blocking more than a thousand items of malware and more than 4000 emails containing links to phishing attacks. 

We hope that adding this warning will reduce the chance of staff or students being scammed without being a major inconvenience.

Further details and how to request an exemption for third party email systems