External Tag On Emails



Wanted to get others opinion on the effectiveness of adding something like [EXTERNAL] to the subjects of emails when they are received from an external party. I’m considering setting this up in our system (Office 365) and curious how effective others have found it.

Not sure if it just annoys users, or if it actually helps them.


(Lisa) #2

We implemented that a few months ago. It has actually received positive feedback and helped employees prioritize messages and helps them slow down and take time to review. It has prevented some of our senior level managers avoid clicking on links they otherwise would have. It did present an obstacle for our phishing campaigns making it more difficult to craft a message that ‘looks like it is from HR for example’. Ii may in time just become something people learn to ignore/over look, but initially it is helpful.

(Lon Heinkel) #3

We have a Big Red message that shows up on any external emails telling the user that the message was created outside of our network and to be cautious when opening up attachments or clicking on Links. I think it helps but we also wonder if because it has been used for a while now if people just are not paying attention to it anymore. When we do our KnowBe4 phish tests it shows up and we still inevitably get people clicking on the attachments we send with them.

Users afraid to open email

We have had the “External” tag on the subject line for several years and during the knowbe4 spam testing it was the only way we new the email was fake. Even with all the changes we made to stop someone from sending spoofed email “EXTERNAL” it was still the best way to ID something coming from OUTSIDE. During training I taught my users not to TRUST “External” emails 90% of time and instead ask them to tell me 10 reasons why it was OK to open or click on the External mail. Example: “We get email from the is vendor all the time it must be SAFE” (SURE:) or “I have been excepting this email from this person” So after you ask yourself the 10 questions and they all pass it was be safe…RIGHT…:slight_smile:
The External tag is NOT 100% but it does help.