Phishing is a fraudulent attempt, usually made through email, to steal your personal information. The best way to protect yourself from phishing is to learn how to recognize a phish.
Phishing emails usually appear to come from a well-known organization and ask for your personal information — such as credit card number, social security number, account number or password. Often times phishing attempts appear to come from sites, services and companies with which you do not even have an account.
In order for Internet criminals to successfully “phish” your personal information, they must get you to go from an email to a website. Phishing emails will almost always tell you to click a link that takes you to a site where your personal information is requested. Legitimate organizations would never request this information of you via email.
Signs of a phishing scam:
- Generic greeting- Scams are typically sent in large batches, therefore they aren’t personalize.
- Requests personal info.- The scam wants to get your personal information. By requesting you to sign into something they can get your password and other important info.
- Sense of urgency – They want your information as quickly as possible so the scam seems urgent so that you feel as if there is a time crunch for you to respond.
What to look for: Here is an example of an email that is a phishing scam.
Taken from a Meredith Email:
If you receive an email that may be a phishing scam do not open the email. If you did open the email and “fall” for the scam, be sure to change your email password as soon as possible to ensure your privacy.
For additional questions you can contact the Tech Services Help Desk.