how to report phishing emails outlook 365

How to Report Phishing Emails in Outlook 365

Phishing emails have become a prevalent threat in today’s digital landscape. These deceptive emails are designed to trick recipients into revealing sensitive information or downloading malicious software. Outlook 365, Microsoft’s popular email service, provides users with robust tools to identify and report phishing emails. In this article, we will explore the steps to report phishing emails in Outlook 365, along with best practices to stay safe online.

Understanding Phishing Emails

Phishing emails are fraudulent messages that appear to be from a reputable source, such as a bank, social media platform, or online retailer. These emails often contain urgent requests for personal information, such as passwords, credit card numbers, or social security numbers. Phishing emails can also include malicious links or attachments that, when clicked or downloaded, can compromise the security of your computer or network.

According to a report by the Anti-Phishing Working Group, there were over 241,324 unique phishing attacks reported in the first quarter of 2021 alone. This highlights the scale of the problem and the need for effective reporting mechanisms.

Identifying Phishing Emails in Outlook 365

Before reporting a phishing email, it is crucial to be able to identify one. Outlook 365 has several built-in features that can help you determine whether an email is legitimate or a phishing attempt.

1. Check the Sender’s Email Address

Phishing emails often use email addresses that mimic legitimate organizations but have slight variations. For example, an email claiming to be from “” may actually be from “” Carefully examine the sender’s email address for any suspicious or unusual elements.

2. Look for Spelling and Grammar Mistakes

Phishing emails often contain spelling and grammar mistakes. Legitimate organizations typically have strict quality control measures in place for their communications. If you notice any errors in the email, it is likely a phishing attempt.

3. Analyze the Content and Tone of the Email

Phishing emails often use urgent or threatening language to create a sense of panic and prompt immediate action. They may claim that your account has been compromised or that you need to verify your information urgently. Be cautious of emails that create a sense of urgency and pressure you to take immediate action.

Phishing emails often contain links that, when clicked, redirect you to a malicious website. Before clicking any links, hover your mouse over them to reveal the actual destination. If the link does not match the claimed destination or looks suspicious, do not click on it.

5. Be Wary of Attachments

Phishing emails may include attachments that contain malware or viruses. Exercise caution when opening attachments, especially if they are unexpected or from unknown senders. If in doubt, contact the sender through a separate communication channel to verify the authenticity of the attachment.

Reporting Phishing Emails in Outlook 365

Once you have identified a phishing email, it is essential to report it to Microsoft to help protect yourself and others from falling victim to the scam. Outlook 365 provides a straightforward process to report phishing emails.

1. Select the Suspicious Email

Open your Outlook 365 inbox and select the suspicious email that you want to report. Make sure to keep the email selected for the reporting process.

2. Click on the “Report Message” Button

In the Outlook 365 toolbar, you will find a “Report Message” button. Click on this button to open a drop-down menu with reporting options.

3. Choose the “Phishing” Option

In the drop-down menu, select the “Phishing” option. This will notify Microsoft that the email you selected is a phishing attempt.

4. Provide Additional Information (Optional)

If you have any additional information or comments regarding the phishing email, you can include them in the text box provided. This step is optional but can be helpful in providing context to Microsoft.

5. Click on the “Report” Button

After reviewing your selection and providing any additional information, click on the “Report” button to submit the phishing email to Microsoft for analysis.

Best Practices to Stay Safe Online

While reporting phishing emails is crucial, it is equally important to adopt best practices to protect yourself from falling victim to these scams. Here are some tips to stay safe online:

1. Keep Your Software Updated

Regularly update your operating system, web browsers, and antivirus software to ensure you have the latest security patches and protection against known vulnerabilities.

2. Enable Two-Factor Authentication

Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification, such as a unique code sent to your mobile device, in addition to your password.

3. Be Cautious of Unsolicited Requests for Personal Information

Legitimate organizations will never ask you to provide sensitive information, such as passwords or social security numbers, via email. Be cautious of unsolicited requests and verify the authenticity of the request through a separate communication channel.

4. Use Strong and Unique Passwords

Create strong and unique passwords for your online accounts. Avoid using common passwords or reusing passwords across multiple platforms. Consider using a password manager to securely store and generate complex passwords.

5. Educate Yourself and Stay Informed

Stay informed about the latest phishing techniques and scams. Educate yourself on how to identify phishing emails and share this knowledge with friends, family, and colleagues. Regularly check reputable sources for updates on emerging threats.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Can I report phishing emails in Outlook 365 on my mobile device?

A: Yes, you can report phishing emails in Outlook 365 on your mobile device. The process is similar to the desktop version. Open the suspicious email, tap on the “More” option (represented by three dots), and select the “Report Phishing” option.

Q: Will reporting a phishing email in Outlook 365 prevent others from receiving it?

A: Reporting a phishing email in Outlook 365 helps Microsoft analyze and block similar emails in the future. While it may not immediately prevent others from receiving the same email, it contributes to the overall effort of combating phishing attacks.

A: If you accidentally clicked on a phishing link or provided your information, take immediate action to protect yourself. Change your passwords for the affected accounts, enable two-factor authentication, and monitor your accounts for any suspicious activity. Consider contacting your bank or credit card company if you provided financial information.

Q: Are there any additional security measures I can take to protect myself?

A: In addition to reporting phishing emails and following best practices, consider using a reputable antivirus software, regularly backing up your important data, and being cautious of downloading files or clicking on links from unknown sources. These additional security measures can further enhance your online safety.


Phishing emails pose a significant threat to individuals and organizations alike. By understanding how to identify and report phishing emails in Outlook 365, you can play an active role in combating these scams. Remember to stay vigilant, follow best practices for online safety, and report any suspicious emails to protect yourself and others from falling victim to phishing attacks.


I am a technology writer specialize in mobile tech and gadgets. I have been covering the mobile industry for over 5 years and have watched the rapid evolution of smartphones and apps. My specialty is smartphone reviews and comparisons. I thoroughly tests each device's hardware, software, camera, battery life, and other key features. I provide in-depth, unbiased reviews to help readers determine which mobile gadgets best fit their needs and budgets.

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