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This document discusses Phishing awareness
Phishing (pronounced “fishing”) is a common method for Internet hackers, scammers, and thieves to use to try to get you to reveal your personal information such as account name or number, password, birth date, or social security number. Often the email message will warn of account abuse or threaten you that your online access will be lost if you do not follow the instructions in the email. The email reply address may even look like it comes from a valid source. However, if you do respond with just these few pieces of your personal information, your personal identity can be stolen, your money lost, and your credit ruined.
Phishing emails may also attempt to lure you to click on a link embedded in the message. These links can take you to what may appear to be valid websites, but actually they are fake sites targeted to get you to enter your personal information. Some of these fake sites are also used to try to install malware that will enable the hackers to monitor your keystrokes, remotely control your computer, or transfer personal information from your computer. If the hacker is successful in luring you in with their phishing message, your personal identify can easily be stolen.
The University is constantly being bombarded with phishing scams aimed at campus users. The best way to prevent your falling victim to a phishing attempt is to be vigil and suspicious of any email that asks for personal information. Below is a link to a quick online quiz that will show you sample email messages and help you to learn how to identify phishing messages:
For more information on phishing, how to avoid these scammers, and general information on online security, please visit:
Our campus email and anti-spam software are configured to try to block and/or quarantine these emails before they reach your email inbox. Your off campus email providers may not have as sophisticated anti-spam software so you may see phishing messages there as well. The hackers are also constantly changing the text of the message, reply addresses, etc., so it is always possible that some may make it through to your inbox.
If you do receive a phishing email in your University email account, do not respond to the email, but either delete it or forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org so that Computer Center staff can investigate it.