Email Banners Simplified

Information Technology-Computing

To streamline and simplify banners that appear on JMU emails, JMU Information Technology (IT) has stopped placing a common gold banner (shown below) on incoming messages as of February 6, 2024.

Common Gold Email Banner

This gold banner was implemented years ago on the Microsoft Exchange email system, before JMU's transition to Microsoft 365. The banner's purpose was to alert the JMU community of messages that might be phishing messages. At the time, identifying external messages (messages from non-JMU senders) was effective, and it was the best available message trait to trigger a warning banner.

Last year, JMU implemented additional email protection features of the Microsoft 365 system that introduced a more advanced banner message, such as a banner that warns of messages from infrequent senders:

New Email Banner

If you click the link in this new banner, you will learn that infrequent senders are considered higher risk than senders who are merely external because it's not necessarily unusual for a JMU user to frequently exchange emails with others outside of JMU. Still, the original gold banner appeared on these messages because of the sender's non-JMU email address.

This change will reduce the overall number of emails containing banners, which will provide multiple benefits. First, the change will improve the message preview feature in most email clients, which typically shows banner content before displaying a preview of the message body. Second, the presence of the new, more targeted banner on messages will alert JMU email recipients to use additional caution and scrutinize the sender email address.

Visit JMU's Phishing Education site to learn about phishing, how to spot it, what to do if you fall victim to phishing, and where to find more resources.

If you have questions about email or banner messages, please contact the IT Help Desk at (540) 568-3555 or


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by Information Technology

Published: Monday, February 12, 2024

Last Updated: Thursday, April 4, 2024

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