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Avoiding Phishing Attempts

What to look for:

  • Always check the address the email is coming from.   Don’t stop at the name.  The email may look legitimate and may contain a name or the logo of a company that you may recognize. Look at the actual email address.  Do you recognize it?
  • Does the email have a generic greeting, such as Hello!  Emails coming from a company that you do business with or from someone you know, will use your name in the greeting. 
  • Be careful with links in an email message.  Legitimate businesses will not ask you to click on a link to update account information or threaten to remove your account unless you click on the link. You can move your cursor over a link and it will display the URL it is linked to. Does the link seem to be associated with a legitimate website?
  • Any email threatening negative consequences or a loss of opportunity unless urgent action is taken, is often a phishing attempt.
  • Do not click on an attachment unless you know it to be legitimate. 
  • Remember that phishing emails can happen on mobile devices as well.  Take the same precautions.

How to respond:

  • If you suspect that you received a phishing or spam email, use the “report as spam” icon at the top of the email in Gmail and in outlook, go to the Home tab and in the Delete group, select the Junk drop-down arrow. If the message is open in another window in outlook, you will go to the Message tab and select the Junk drop-down arrow.
  • If you accidently interact with the phishing attempt (clicked on a link / attachment or provided confidential or credential information, disconnect from the network and contact the I.T. department immediately.  Use a different device to change your password information for any financial institutions you access with that computer. 
  • When in doubt, call the sender to be sure the email is from them.  It is also a good practice to just delete the email if you are unsure. 
  • If you have any questions about an email, contact the I.T. Help Desk at X2255 or