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Recognizing and Reporting Phishing

September 27, 2023

Recognizing and Reporting Phishing

Phishing is a popular hacking tactic and can be disastrous. Cybercriminals use phishing to expose your information by making an email, URL, or website appear to be authentic so that the victim will input their username and password or their credit card credentials. Hackers often implement these ploys through email. It is essential to not only know what phishing is but also recognize attempts at phishing and report them. Here are some of the most common email phishing ploys used by cybercriminals.   

Urgent Message    
You might receive a message that calls for immediate action. This email might tell you that your account was hacked or will be deactivated, and you need to follow the steps to restore it. Your fear of losing your account might make you act quickly. However, take a second to slow down and really read the email as well as look for common signs that it might be a fake email.    

Login or Password Message    
Another common phishing email asks you to verify your account by logging into a (fake) website that appears to be legitimate. These emails aim to gain access to your account by revealing your username and password to the fake website.   

Corporate Communications    
Hackers use corporate communications and emails from stakeholders such as HR or various leadership because they have the highest click rate. An internal phishing email may prompt you to click on a link to read a company policy update, read a company-wide update document, or even provide sensitive information.   

Reward or Free Gift Message    
Hackers also use free gifts or rewards to trick victims into revealing their personal information. When getting messages about free things, be on high alert. Receive an invite to a free movie premiere? Be on high alert! Despite their enticing nature, free things can also pose a risk. Hackers try to bait you into clicking on a malicious link with this ploy.  

If you believe you have encountered a phishing email, please forward it to [email protected] for review. IT Security can help you determine whether the email is a scam and notify others. 

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Page last modified September 27, 2023