Phishing

What is Phishing:

Phishing is typically an e-mail scam which tries to deceive people into thinking a legitimate organization is requesting information such as usernames, passwords, credit card details, or other personal information. These scams request you to either reply, or follow a link to a site to provide that information. In recent months UMW and many other universities have been relentlessly targeted by “spear phishing“ scams.

Ways to Recognize Phishing:

  • Addressed as “Dear Customer.”
  • Forged or Spoofed Email address
    • They might appear to come from your bank or financial institution, an institution you regularly do business with or from your social networking site.
    • They might even appear to be from someone you think you know. The email might look like it comes from a UMW account or Help Desk.
  • Account status threat
    • May include a warning that your account will be terminated unless you reply.
  • The words “verify your account.”
  • Requests for personal information.
  • Asking for login and password info, either in email or via the link.

Do Not Respond to Emails that exhibit these characteristics. Delete the Email.

Here’s how we protect you:

  • SPAM filtering. UMW IT utilizes a robust industry-standard SPAM filtering utility. While the SPAM filter or junk mail settings may occasionally catch legitimate email, they block email that can compromise your account and computer.  We typically block over 80 percent of incoming email messages as spam per day.
  • Password reset requirement. Our additional password requirements help to safeguard your account.  For more information on setting a secure password please visit:http://technology.umw.edu/information-security/passwords/
  • Anti-virus, security awareness training, and SPAM/Phishing alerts. These are designed to keep your computer secure and you informed.

Here’s how you can protect yourself:

  • Verify that emails are from a trusted sender.  Do not reply to emails from unknown senders that ask for personal information or attempt to get you to click a link.  Do not click on links from unknown senders.
  • Allow your anti-virus updates to run.  This is the last line of protection for your computer.  Run full and quick scans on your PC using the installed Symantec Anti-Virus program.  If you need assistance, please contact the Help Desk  at HelpDesk@umw.edu or (540) 654-2255
  • Report suspicious emails. Suspicious emails or concerns about your account being compromised should be reported immediately to it-abuse@umw.edu.

There are several steps that you should take to protect your account if you receive a phishing email:

  • Immediately delete any message that you get asking for your credentials or any other personal information.  Do NOT respond to these messages!
  • If you replied to a phishing message or believe that your account has been compromised, change your password immediately.
  • If you need assistance in accessing your account, and / or in correcting a problem with your account, please contact the IT Help Desk at helpdesk@umw.edu or at 540-654-2255.