Email FAQs

About this page

This page is intended to answer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about email.

What is email?

Email is the common abbreviation for Electronic Mail. Letters can be transmitted electronically, from one computer, anywhere in the world to another computer, anywhere else in the world, via the Internet.

What is a mail host?

An email host is the address to which your entire incoming email is directed, and where it is held until you download it to your hard drive.

Can I send a picture, document and/or file to someone else by email?

Be certain before sending an attachment with your email that the recipient has the ability to receive and open the type of file you wish to send, whether it is a graphic (such as .gif or .jpg), sound (such as .mp3 or .wav) or a word processing or text file. The procedure for most email programs is very similar, although variations may occur within the same application, depending on the platform.

What is spam email?

Spam Mail refers to unsolicited email including unsolicited advertisements. The term spammers refers to the senders of the spam.

How can spammers get my email address?

Spammers can collect email addresses in many ways. For example:

  • By search engines. They can use some search engines to collect email address from web pages, newsgroups, bulletin boards, Yellow pages ... etc. automatically.
  • By guessing. They can generate a random sequence of characters, hoping to match a few valid addresses.
  • By purchasing. They can buy email addresses from other spammers.
  • People may be required to submit their mail addresses on the Internet (ie., before downloading software/programs) and these email addresses may be released to unknown persons.
  • People may leave their email addresses in some dubious questionnaire that are found on the Internet, on the street or on telephone.

What can I do when I receive a spam email?

  • We do not ask for passwords to be send via email! Do not ever send anybody your SJSU password via email.
  • NEVER buy/use any products/services from spammers.
  • Do not open any files attached with the spam email. These attachments may contain a computer virus or indecent materials.
  • Do not click on any links or pictures in the spam email. This includes the "Click Here to Unsubscribe" and "Remove me" links, because spammers may use these links to verify that your email address is valid. Or, these links could lead to Web pages that are able to infect computers with a computer virus.
  • Do not reply to spam email, because:
    • Very often the sender and return addresses of the spam email are fake.
    • The spammers will know that your email address is valid and active if they receive any email from you.
    • Once a spammer knows they have a valid email address, your email address may be sold to other spammers.
  • Do not forward any spam email to your friends and acquaintances.

You can do the following:

  • SJSU email for employees is provided by Google and Google has a mechanism for handling this issue. If you receive a scam message, please do the following to help stop the scam: 
    • Press the down arrow next to the “Reply” button. Click “Report Phishing” This action will move the message to your spam folder, block further attempts and alert the Google anti-phishing team to act on this phishing attempt.
  • You can set up mail filters/rules in your email clients to remove the spam emails automatically.
  • You can also report the spam email by calling the SJSU IT Help Desk at (408) 924-1530 or the Academic Technology Computer Center at (408) 924-4116 or go to our ticket portal and submit an incident ticket into our ticketing system. We will facilitate any corrective action.

I am finding it difficult to stay within my email quota. What do you suggest?

This can be challenging as we are all very dependent on email. Some helpful techniques include:

  • Practice regular deletion of unnecessary email.
  • Practice regular deletion of unnecessary email in the "SENT" folder
  • Practice regular deletion of retained copies of messages you have sent.
  • Unsubscribing from mailing lists that are not useful to you.

When looking for email to delete to bring you within quota, look especially at messages that include attachments. A few dozen of these can account for a very substantial portion of your quota if the attachments are particularly large. (Graphics or animated messages from friends can be very wasteful of your storage quota.)

How do I check my email online?

Using a Web browser, go to and check it online.

I am having a problem setting up SJSU email on my computer. It receives email but will not send any.

Using a Web browser, go to and check it online. If you need help in setting up an email client to work on a university owned computer, go to our ticket portal and submit an incident ticket into our ticketing system. We will refer it to your desktop support team.



IT Service Desk
One Washington Square
Clark 102, 1st Floor
San José, CA 95192-0026
Phone: (408) 924-1530
Hours and Location: CL102
IT Service Desk E-mail: