UVM's Information Security Operations Team answers "Why?" Why?security

Email – take it or leave it?

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. This is the first of four timely tips based on current hot topics at the university.

Email – take it or leave it?
Email is a useful tool for communication but is also the most popular way that problems can be easily brought into our University Community. Some quick tips to protect yourself, your data, and your reputation as well as that of the University are:

  • Be suspicious – Does it sound too good to be true? It is. Does it feel like you are being excessively pressured? You are. Does it sound weird, look weird, have grammar or spelling mistakes? It’s a fake.
  • Think About the Link – email links that go to strange places are the quickest way to get someone to go to an illegitimate site and mistakenly enter their credentials. Hover over the link (but don’t click) and see if it really goes to a uvm.edu site. Many times they don’t and should be reported as phish.
  • Attachments – were you expecting that email with a document from that person? Lots of bad software can come into our community through attachments. Your best bet is to not open or forward an attachment that you were not expecting.
  • Report it – think you just received a phish or scam? Report it by sending the message as an attachment to abuse@uvm.edu
  • Call – if you can’t tell whether a message is real or not, go for the low tech solution and call the sender by independently finding their phone number via their official website (don’t use the one that was sent in the email message!)

Hopefully tips like these will help you stay safe at home or work!

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