Cyber criminals love to take advantage of our reliance on the internet. That's why they often try to fool you into providing personal information and passwords via email phishing scams.
To kick off National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), which starts next week, here are five tips to recognize phishing scams so you don't get caught:
- The message was sent by an unfamiliar or unexpected sender. Phishing emails are often in disguise and can claim to be from Temple HR, the Help Desk, Microsoft, well-known banks and credit card companies. Be sure to review the sender information closely. The sender address on these scams can be unfamiliar or from someone who does not work in the department the email is claiming to be from.
- The message is asking you for your password and personal information. Temple will never ask you for your password or any personal information via email.
- The message contains a tone of urgency or extreme excitement. Phishing scams will often use phrases such as "Please log-in to avoid your email account being closed," to try to invoke fear or excitement and get you to respond. It is important to stop and think about the message before clicking on any links or responding to the message. If it looks phishy, it probably is.
- The message contains unexpected links and attachments. Never click on an unexpected link or attachment in a suspicious message. If you want to see where the link redirects to, hover over the link to see where the URL is going. Be extra cautious if a link takes you to a login page. These fake pages are set up to capture your username and password.
- The message sometimes includes spelling, grammar and writing errors. While sometimes you see spelling, grammar and writing mistakes, phishing emails are becoming more sophisticated with less errors. That is why it is important to recognize the other signs above.
Most importantly, if you spot any of these signs in a message, or are unsure of whether or not a message is legitimate, do not click on any links or respond to the message. Instead, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com .
Continue to stay updated on other cyber safe tips by visiting our Phishing webpage, or by connecting with us on our social media pages.