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Microsoft Safe Links Will Soon Provide More Protection Against Malicious Links

Safe Links is a Microsoft security feature that checks to make sure that the link in your email does not send you to a malicious site. Safe Links already exists at Cornell and has been quietly preventing clicks to bad sites for several months in Outlook on the Web, and other Cornell-provided Microsoft products such as Teams and Word. (This does not apply to personal copies of Microsoft products.)

On September 26, Safe Links will be extended to administrative staff for more robust protection. Safe Links will scan for bad links both as they arrive to your mailbox, and when you click on a link. What this means is that you will gain an extra layer of protection against links that lead to malicious websites.

With this enhancement you may notice the following:

  • When you mouse over a link in Outlook, you will see: “Original URL” followed by the normal URL of the website linked.
  • In Outlook on the Web, when you mouse over a link, you may see a different URL that starts with in your browser’s footer. (This is in addition to the mouse-over tip normally displayed.)

    This is a Safe Links-formatted URL.
  • If you use something other than Outlook to read your mail, you will see the Safe Links formatted URL when you mouse over your email.
  • If someone sends you a plain text email, the URLs in that email will be formatted by Safe Links. The URL will start with followed by a long, complex string of characters.

For more information, consult Safe Links on IT@Cornell.

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