Universities and their community of students, faculty and staff are frequent targets of phishing attacks. These attacks often involve sending deceptive emails with the intent of tricking people into providing their user credentials, personal information, or infecting their computer.
How to Spot a Phishing Attempt
Here are some common signs of a phishing attempt via email.
- Generic Greeting
Phishing emails are often sent out in bulk and often use generic greetings or no greeting at all. If you don't see your name, be cautious.
- Fake URL
If an email contains a link that appears safe, always check to make sure by hovering your mouse over the link to see where it actually goes. Also, look at the email address of the sender closely.
- Requesting Personal Information or Asking You to Log In at a Link
Most businesses will not request personal information through email. Be skeptical when links try to send you to a login page. It may be a duplicated page created to steal your information.
- Sense of Urgency
Attackers often convey a sense of urgency and may contain a time constraint, "click the link below and provide your username and password within 2 days or your account will be deactivated."
- Poor Grammar and Spelling
Be cautious of emails containing multiple grammar or spelling errors.
A-State will NEVER ask you for your username, password, social security number, bank account or any other sensitive information via email.
Recent Campus Emails About Phishing
Here are two emails that were recently sent to the A-State campus community, including a student story who nearly fell victim to a scam attempt.
If You Think You've Become a Victim of Phishing
If you suspect you may have shared personal information as a result of a phishing email you should:
- Reset your A-State password immediately, and any other account passwords that may be compromised.
- Contact any institutions or organizations that could be impacted by the breach to sensitive information.
- If you received an email through your A-State email account please contact ITS Security at 870.972.3770 or ITSecurity@AState.edu.