Cyber Security FAQ

Can emails be encrypted?
Yes. For full details on how to encrypt NHSmail emails, please see the Encryption Guide available on the Portal Training and Guidance pages.
What security features are part of the NHSmail service?
The NHSmail email gateway has advanced threat detection for malware, as well as phishing and spam detection.
What can I do to protect myself against cyber security threats?
Always be aware of messages coming into your mailbox, especially from new unsolicited senders. Also, ensure appropriate antivirus software is installed and up to date on your PC.
How do I know if I have anti-virus software on my computer?
A program from vendors such as McAfee, Symantec, Sophos and Trend Micro would prompt you to update your virus definitions from time-to-time. Also, you should see the running application in the computers ‘system tray’ (close to the date and time of the computer). If there is no obvious anti-virus running on your computer, you should contact your local IT service to confirm.
As NHSmail scans attachment types, does it mean all attachments received are safe?
No. Caution should always be exercised when opening email attachments. Extra care should be taken when messages come from unsolicited sources. If in doubt about the sender, never open an attachment until the sender has been verified.
Why is email malware filtering necessary?
Malware/viruses are not only annoying, they can corrupt essential data and information stored on a computer accessing the affected message. Once a single system is compromised, depending on the type of infection, security of the entire local network can be at risk. Therefore, it is very important to scan messages.
What should I do if I believe my system is affected by a virus or malware?
Contact your local IT department immediately.
Contact your local IT department immediately.
As an email user you don’t have to do anything to benefit from the advanced filtering service in place for NHSmail. Depending on the route of the email (i.e. incoming, outgoing, being sent to nhs.uk, nhs.net or hscic.gov.uk addresses) messages pass through various ‘checkpoints’ with each check having separate rules for malware as well as spam scanning engines. Therefore, when messages reach your inbox, messages should be determined to be ok to read and reply. But, as outlined in this document caution should always be taken especially from unsolicited senders. To aid in the identification of spam, you are encouraged to send spam messages to spamreports@nhs.net through the process identified in this document. We also recommend that users occasionally check their Junk Email folder to ensure that legitimate emails are not placed there incorrectly.
Updated on 11/04/2019

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