Hackers Are Trying to Reel You in Through Email
Email is an essential part of our everyday communications. It is also one of the most
common methods that hackers use to attempt to gain access to sensitive information.
More than 90% of data breaches start with a phishing attack. Phishing uses fraudulent
email messages designed to impersonate a legitimate person or organization. They attempt
to trick the recipient into downloading harmful attachments or divulging sensitive
information, including passwords, bank account numbers, and social security numbers.
Phishing scams can have a number of different goals. They may attempt to:
- Target your cash and payment card data
- Gain control of your computer and local network resources
- Gain access to your University Computing Account and resources
Phishing scams typically attempt to take advantage of you by:
- Delivering file attachments that can infect your computer with harmful software.
- Enticing you to click on links to websites that infect your computer with harmful
- Tricking you into sharing your username and password, so hackers can gain access to
your network or other sites.
How to Protect Yourself
- Remember that companies generally don't contact you to ask for your username or password.
- Don't click on anything in an unsolicited email or text message. Look up the company's
phone number on your own (don't use the one a potential scammer is providing), and
call the company to ask if the request is legitimate.
- Carefully examine the email address, URL, and spelling used in any correspondence.
Scammers use slight differences to trick your eye and gain your trust.
- Be careful what you download. Never open an email attachment from someone you don't
know and be wary of email attachments forwarded to you.
- Set up two-factor (or multi-factor) authentication on any account that allows it,
and never disable it.
- Be careful with what information you share online or on social media. By openly sharing
things like pet names, schools you attended, family members, and your birthday, you
can give a scammer all the information you need to guess your password or answer your