Phishing is usually an attempt to deceive you into thinking a legitimate organization is requesting information from you. These requests for information may look innocent at first glance or may seem to come from a legitimate source, but do not. These scams normally request you to reply to an email or follow a link to a web site and provide your login information or other personal information.
A common form of phishing would be an e-mail (such as the one above) with a generic greeting warning of a change in an account requiring you to verify your account information. These e-mails typically include directions to reply with private information, or provide a link to a web site to verify your account by providing personal information such as name, address, bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, or other sensitive personal information.
Indicators of a phishing e-mail:
Name and e-mail address don’t match
Attempt to prove legitimacy using words such as ‘Official’
Uses a real organization or company name but incorrect e-mail address
Unsolicited requests for personal information are a clear danger signal
Look for the “Possible Spam:” pre-tag in the Subject line
Will Hill College IT send legitimate e-mails that look like phishing scams?
The short answer is NO. There will be times when legitimate messages must be sent to inform our e-mail users of various issues. These will not include password expiration notices, inactive account removal, or cases of account abuse.
Why can’t we stop these e-mails?
Our filtering system stops thousands of phishing attempts, spam e-mails, and virus infected messages every day, but the methods scammers use change very quickly. Due to the variety of use for e-mail, we must also be careful not to implement filtering which may block otherwise legitimate e-mail.
How can you avoid phishing scams?
Never send passwords, bank account numbers, or other private information in an e-mail.
Avoid clicking links in e-mails, especially any that are requesting private information.
Be wary of any unexpected e-mail attachments or links, even from people you know.
Look for ‘https://’ and a lock icon in the address bar before entering any private information.
Here’s a phishing message that was recently sent to many Hill College users. Can you spot the signs of phishing?