The Computing and Information Systems group provides computer support and technology solutions for Physics & Astronomy department faculty, students, and staff. This website is the starting point for questions regarding your workstation, software, or other technical concerns.
General hours are Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm. For help accessing e-mail, connecting to department resources, or other common questions, please see our database of tutorial articles by clicking "How-To Articles" in the main menu above. If your question is not answered by a tutorial article, please submit a support request by clicking "New Support Request" below.
How to deal with spam
With the recent spam problem, we also want to inform everyone of the most effective steps to help protect the department from email scams, phishing, etc. Any time spam email arrives specifically to your Inbox (if it's in Junk, it's already being filtered), you should follow these steps:
- Login to webmail (https://webmail.pa.ucla.edu)
- Find the spam message in your Inbox
- Mark it as spam
- Go to your Junk folder
- Find the message and forward a copy to Nick Robertson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Flagging the message from webmail will help Zimbra to start recognizing these and similar messages automatically. This is more dynamic and adaptable than hard-coded spam filters, but this adaptability also makes it not quite as strong of a weight for the spam score for safety reasons.
In addition to that, forwarding a copy of the spam message to Nick on our IT team will let the IT team train our hard-coded spam filters on top of what Zimbra's auto-learning provides, ultimately providing better protection overall, for everyone.
This process should be the standard process for all spam that arrives at your Inbox. Simply moving the message to the Junk folder, or flagging it in Outlook, Thunderbird, Apple Mail, etc. will not have the same benefits.
It should also be noted that this is an iterative process. It may be required to flag and send the same spam several times before it is properly filtered. Care must be taken so legitimate email does not get labeled as junk.
How to keep your email account safe
It's become more common these days for computer account hackers to try to hijack email accounts. Typical methods involve sending you an "official-looking" email to ask for your account information, such as your login ID and especially your password. Or sometimes the email suggests your account is full and asks you to click a link to access your email.
Are you a student? Read about some scams that particularly target students.
More recently hackers have become creative. Have you received an email that asks you to click on a link to confirm an upcoming shipment...one that you are definitely not expecting?
Did you receive an email asking you to click on a link to upgrade your email account, claiming that if you don't, your account will be suspended?
Or how about a veiled attempt at extortion, claiming that compromising video of you will be made public unless you pay a "ransom" in bitcoins or some other questionable currency?
If you're a student, has someone contacted you about hiring you for a service and wants to pay you with a check that's more than you're charging them? Are they urging you to deposit it and sent them the balance?
These are all scams, and they're common. Each of them hopes to trick you into clicking on a link where you'll be prompted to share your password or your login credentials to other sites.
Don't fall for these tricks!
You can avoid these attempts when you read this guide to help you distinguish safe emails from dangerous ones...and never send your password to anyone in an email.
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