What is SafeLinks?

What is SafeLinks?

The Office of Information Technology has added a feature to the University’s e-mail system: Microsoft Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) SafeLinks.


How does SafeLinks work?

SafeLinks scans incoming e-mails for known malicious hyperlinks and attachments containing malware. This feature then rewrites the URL using Microsoft’s standard URL format prefix https://nam01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com. If the link is categorized as malicious, you will be redirected to a block page upon accessing the link in your browser. SafeLinks works behind the scenes, which means you do not need to do anything to activate or take advantage of the system.


Re-written URL in a ATP Safe Links E-Mail


ATP Safe Links Block Page


If you receive Plain-Text e-mails

When ATP SafeLinks detects a hyperlink in a plain-text e-mail (non-HTML), it will rewrite the URL in plain text. In this case, you will see the rewritten URL directly in the body of the e-mail. E-mails with HTML or rich text are most common, so Plain-Text rewrites will occur infrequently.


If you forward an e-mail with a rewritten link

Once ATP SafeLinks has rewritten a URL, if the message is forwarded or replied to, the URL will remain rewritten. Additional links added to the message being replied to or forwarded will not be rewritten. If you believe recipients may have questions, you could include the following in your signature:


“This e-mail is protected by Microsoft’s ATP SafeLinks product. Hyperlinks in this e-mail may begin with ‘nam01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com’ and have a generally long format.”


Additional Assistance

If you believe a URL has been blocked unnecessarily or a fraudulent site has not been blocked, please reach out to the IT Service Desk at itservicedesk@auburn.edu. To decode a safelink, you can use the safelink decoder found at aub.ie/safelink.