Phishing, Spam, and You

Phishing and Spam

Spam messages are a common occurance with any email account. Most Spam is an annoying add for something you don't want and never asked for, but some spam can have an ulterior motive, trying to convince us to turn over passwords or financial information. These messages can look legitimate and it's easy to fall for these "phishing" scams. Anti-Virus and Anti- Malware services alone can't protect you from these quickly changing "social engineering" techniques; safe computing knowledge is a critical piece of our campus security program!

What Are some Common issues associated with Phishing and Spam?

  • it can infect your computer with a virus
  • it can install spyware or adware to watch your actions online
  • it can entice you to provide personal information on a web site or return e-mail (also called phishing)
  • your personal information can be stolen from your computer

What Can I do to recognize or avoid messages as Phishing or Spam?

  • Delete e-mails from unknown senders
  • Only open expected attachments from people you know
  • Never respond to a spam (clicking on "please remove me from your mailing list" links may result in more spam)
  • Treat your e-mail address like a credit card number - never submit it to a person or site you do not trust
  • Never make a purchase from a spam message
  • Do not click links from commercial e-mails even if you trust the company; phishers can mask malicious content to look convincing from trusted sources - even the IRS!
  • Do not provide your e-mail on public forums or web sites
  • Do not give out your name, SSN, telephone number, street address, birth date, credit card numbers, driver's license number, or vehicle registration plate number via e-mail
  • Keep your antivirus software and operating system current to fix and prevent vulnerabilities that spam or attachments could exploit
  • Regularly check your free credit report at

Remember: UD will never ask for personal information via e-mail.


For More information see our main safe computing page!

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