Security Awareness Tips: What’s the big deal? ...if I don’t use the standardized signature block?


Posted on Thursday, November 1, 2018

• The recipient could very likely delete it, thinking it is spam or report it as a phishing attack.
• TBS requires that you use a standardized signature block for identification and to reduce questions about credibility of the email.
• A new email system is coming to the Department that will standardize all email addresses. Your signature block will be the only way for someone to identify what department you work for.

You email John (an employee who you’ve never met) to gather information about a new project. One week later, you realize you never got a reply, so you follow up with a phone call. John said he deleted your email because it seemed suspicious that there was no signature block and he didn’t recognize your name. How would you avoid this happening in the future?

What should you do?
Option 1: Use the official signature block as outlined by Treasury Board Secretariat;
Option 2: Use your own personalized signature block such as: Jerry “The Jazzman” Jenkins; or
Option 3: Sign the email “Cheers” then type your name.
Option 1 is your only choice. You must follow the official signature block from Treasury Board to ensure your emails are properly identified and not mistaken for phishing.

The TBS Standard for email signatures includes (in bilingual format, always): Name— Betty Tremblay; Title, Branch— Department/Government of Canada.

For military members, standard email signatures should follow the example below:
Brigadier-General/Brigadier-général Louis Meloche,
Director General Defence Security/Departmental Security Officer
Canadian Armed Forces
E-Mail: / Tel: 613-947-9225
Directeur-général - Sécurité de la défense / Agent de sécurité ministériel
Forces armées canadiennes
Courriel: / Tél: 613-947-9225

Finally, to avoid confusion, use a standardized signature block on all your emails.