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Fight Phishing - Check It Out

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a play on the term "fishing."  Hackers "put lines out in the water" or spam email to see if they get any "bites."  You are the fish they are hoping to catch.  The point of the phishing attempt is to gain access to campus information, or your own personal information.  

How Do I Know?

Malicious actors are becoming more creative in their attempts to steal your information.  Many of the phishing emails they send appear to be from reputable sources.  The emails are carefully crafted with logos, names of people, and legitimate-looking URLs.  

By following a few recommendations, you can minimize your chance of being "phished".

  1. Check all links before clicking on them.
  2. Always log into official sites ONLY.  
  3. Never provide your password or other information in an email.
  4. Look for clues in the email

Check the Link

The most effective way to determine if an email is a fishing attempt, is to check the links embedded in the email. When you hover your mouse over the link in the email, the true URL destination will appear in either a pop-up tip box, in the bottom left of the application window, or both.


Notice in the above example, the link text appears to be legitimate, but when you hover over the link, it is actually sending you to a different address. 

Official University Sites

After inspecting the true destination of the URL in the web link, be sure that destination is a address.  The follwing addresses are examples of official University sites.

Email Is Not Secure 

You are responsible for maintaining the integrity of your account.  

Email is not secure for personal information, official Unviersity data, or any other sensitive electronic data.  Email is not secure or encrypted by default.

Phishing Attempts May Contain Clues

Using the example above, take notice of a couple of clues, outside of the glaring false URL.

  • The email is imperative and seems to intimidate the reader to comply with the instructions.
  • The email asks for your login information, id and password, in the email. 
  • The grammar and spelling are somewhat questionable.