User Education: Scam & Phishing Emails

A reminder about user education

Its not only IT departments that need to be aware of suspicious email activity; all users need to make themselves aware of what a suspicious email may look like. Educate yourself as to what constitutes an email scam, a potential virus or Trojan, a phishing email, or an un-trusted attachment. If in doubt ask your IT people, and investigate anything that seems suspicious.

There has been a raft of emails recently that are all scam and phishing emails, so, just as a reminder in the event that you do receive any of those types of emails:

  • Be cautious of emails that appear to come from someone you know instructing you to do something, especially involving an online purchase, or the clicking of a link.  If it is not part of your normal every day emails or activity, please confirm with the purported sender – call them, do not reply back to their email!
  • Be very cautious of emails that are asking you for contact info, or for any confidential information.  Again, confirm with the sender by calling them. Do not reply to the email.
  • Reputable companies or organizations will rarely email you about expiring passwords, password reset, secure documents, or financial issues. Always contact your IT team immediately if you feel a password needs to be reset, if you are ever unable to login to a system. or if you mistakenly click a link asking you to reset/change/keep your password.
  • Do not open an attachment within an email you are not expecting and can clearly validate the sender of the email.  Talk to your IT people if you are unsure.

In most cases, a random email appearing in your inbox that you do not usually receive as a matter of your day-to-day job is likely a scam, but reach out to your IT department to confirm if you are unsure.

As a reminder, please review our previous post on potentially dangerous data for examples of the various types of data and attacks to watch out for.

Many attacks are automatically blocked and neutralized by most network security systems, but please be mindful of links in emails and the various different types of content that comes to your inbox.

Make sure that computers and mobile devices have their security settings set correctly. Again, talk to your IT department if in any doubt.

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