Phishing is when one receives fraudulent emails that appear to come from a legitimate source, such as one's bank or another trusted business. The emails ask customers to verify personal information or link to counterfeit web sites.
How to Recognize Phishing
- Emails will urge you to act quickly because your account may be suspended or closed.
- The email does not address you by name, but uses a more generic title like "Dear Valued Customer."
- The email will ask for your account numbers, passwords, social security number, or other personal information.
Banks will never ask you for personal information, such as account numbers or passwords in an email. Do not respond to any emails that direct you to update your personal information online or by dialing a telephone number. Use only the customer service numbers listed on your statements.
How to Prevent Phishing
- Ensure that your virus scanning software automatically scans attachments, or scan them manually prior to opening them.
- Verify that the sender's address is what you would expect.
- Be suspicious of email attachments from a stranger. If you do not recognize the sender, do not open the attachment.
- Do not reply to email requests for financial information if you suspect the message might not be legitimate.
Hampshire IT has a Q&A about phishing. Contact the help desk if you have any questions about phishing. And remember, NEVER give out your username and password.