Tuesday, March 19, 2024

How to Spot and Avoid Phishing Emails

ITS would like to remind Carleton students to be on the lookout for phishing messages in their email inboxes.

Phishing attempts may look like the messages that come from a faculty member, fellow student, or a university official. It could even come from a spoofed email address that looks exactly like your own address.

The contents of the email might appear to be a job or internship opportunity. They may also look like a meeting or video conferencing request, an invoice or other document, an offer for services or products on sale, a note claiming you have won an award or prize, or a call for help or assistance.

How can you tell if emails or online posts are scams?

  • The email appears to come from someone at the university but has an [External Email] tag at the top of the email. The tag is highlighted in yellow and is in square brackets.
  • The sender asks you to send money or other forms of currency or vouchers such as Bitcoin, gift cards, cheques, etc.
  • The email asks you for your password or directs you to a webform asking for your password.
  • The subject line is in all caps.
  • There is a call for immediate action (i.e. “download this now” or “confirm your identity now”).
  • There is a request to deposit your money, start a claim or “click on the link below.”
  • There are spelling or grammatical errors in the email.

If you respond to phishing messages, you may be asked to purchase gift cards or Bitcoins for the individual. Do not send gift cards or other forms of money, and do not reply or respond to the message or engage with the individual.

If you spot a phishing email, click the Report Phishing button in Microsoft Outlook to report it to ITS and Microsoft. If you have already responded to a phishing email, please contact the ITS Service Desk immediately.

To learn more about how to stay safe online, enrol in ITS’ Security Awareness Course in Brightspace. The course is divided into a series of modules that are short, digestible and most importantly, informative. Topics include:

  • Phishing
  • Ransomware
  • Wi-Fi security
  • Social engineering
  • Risky USB devices
  • And much more!

Tuesday, March 19, 2024 in ,
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