Email Phishing Awareness Reminder

Spamming and phishing are, unfortunately, a daily reality with email.  Information Systems deploys a number of resources to constantly filter incoming email to keep out the “bad stuff”.  However, the cleverness and veracity of the “bad guys” continues to escalate and, unfortunately, some of the bad stuff gets delivered to our email inboxes.

It is our perception that students and faculty have become fairly savvy in recognizing spamming and phishing email messages and regularly use the standard procedure Info Systems has always advocated – JHD – Just Hit Delete.  Recent studies estimate that about 70% percent of all email circulating is of a spamming or phishing nature.  Our own spam rejection statistics show that for every 100 email messages we accept, 175 are rejected outright as spam and never get to your inboxes.   Although the percentage of email that is spam has gone down somewhat in recent years, about 87 billion spam messages, by one estimate made last October, are sent every day.  That is a lot of “bad stuff”.  Here is our list of best practices regarding handling of email messages:

  • Never, ever respond to an email that tells you it is necessary to “verify” or “re-activate” your account.  JHD!
  • Be very skeptical when receiving messages that seem unusual – no matter how genuine it might seem to be. FROM addresses are easily faked so just because it has your acquaintance’s name in the FROM field, doesn’t mean they really sent it.  Don’t even think about it – JHD!
  • Curb your curiosity.  The temptation to click on a link provided in a message can be very persuasive.  That is why the spammers and phishers are successful!  Don’t “yield to temptation”.  JHD!

Spamming and phishing have become so pervasive that it is not useful for Information Systems to be alerted to particular messages users are receiving.  Just Hit Delete.  However, if you realize that you have been tricked into giving your EMU username and password in some fashion, we absolutely want to know about these incidents.  We will be “kind and understanding” (assuming you promise not to do it again!) and we will work with you to make sure that your EMU username and password remain secure.  If this happens to you, contact the Information Systems immediately!