Protect Yourself From Future Phishing Scams
Information and Technology Services (ITS) was alerted to the phishing scam and blocked access to the malicious website designed to compromise your personal information. The link now points to this page, intended to help you better identify and protect yourself from future phishing scams.
What is Phishing
Phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, social security numbers, and financial information, often for malicious reasons. By leveraging public information, such as email addresses from the University Phonebook, these message can appear legitimate.
Although the University’s spam mail filters and security processes reduce the threat to our community, they cannot eradicate all phishing. The best way to avoid being a victim of a phishing scam is to not fall for it.
How to Detect and Handle Phishing Messages
Step 1: Identify the message as a phishing scam.
Some red flags include:
- Urgent requests. Phishing attacks attempt to induce panic in the receiver and cause the person to act before investigating the authenticity of the request.
- Bad spelling or grammar. Phishing messages are notorious for containing misspelled words or poor grammar.
- Mismatched email address information. Make sure the email address displayed in the From: field matches address listed in behind mailto:.
- Generic signature line. A university message is typically signed by a university official, whose name you can verify, and have credible contact information.
- Unexpected requests regarding personal information. Be extremely wary of following links or answering questions from contacts you did not initiate.
Step 2: Check out links and attachments before you click.
- Links can direct you to spoofed web pages or download harmful files on your system. You can hover the cursor over the link before you click on it to ensure that the address matches the link that was typed. You can always check the legitimacy of a message by going directly to the company or organization website or contacting them via phone.
- Hover over an attachment to verify that the title matches the file type. A document that looks like it has a name “something.pdf” might actually be a file “something.exe.” An .exe extension means the attachment is actually a software program that you execute and is extremely dangerous; it can cause computer infection and data loss.
Step 3: Report and delete
If you suspect that the email is a phishing message, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Then delete the message from your inbox.