Office 365: Safe Attachments

Safe Attachments for Faculty/Staff Email

Microsoft Office 365 offers several services to protect users from malicious links and downloads. Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection Safe Attachments scans attachments in email messages you receive trying to find any malicious code or content.  It even protects you when you access your email from a mobile device or from off the LSUE network.

How Does Safe Attachments Work?

For most all email messages, you won’t immediately notice any changes. You will see the entire message body and an icon for your attachments. However, if Microsoft is still in the process of scanning your attachment(s), you will see a placeholder that will let you know what is going on as shown in the image below.  Safe Attachment scans typically complete within a couple of minutes so you likely will never notice this feature, but this could take a bit longer for large attachments.

Safe Attachments In Progress Image

While attachments are being scanned, Microsoft allows a preview of compatible attachment types, such as PDFs and Office documents, so you can begin viewing the content in safe mode without macros or other potentially harmful content.  If the attachments are deemed safe, the placeholder is replaced with the original attachments. 


Remember to only open attachments in messages sent by a reliable and verified source.  If the sender’s email address looks suspicious or the message itself doesn't look right, do not open the attachment without checking with OIT.  Safe Attachments provides an extra layer of protection, but it does not guarantee that all files are safe.

If you ever open an attachment and it looks suspicious or causes any concern, please take appropriate precautions and contact OIT.