More and more these days, e-mail users are being hit with tons of spam and malicious electronic messages. Ranging from annoying to downright dangerous, these unsolicited e-mails are hitting in-boxes at astounding rates -- from several a day to several a minute. The most common e-mail threat is called phishing.
Phishing is designed to obtain personal information via e-mail from the recipient such as name, birth date, credit card number and Social Security number (SSN). Credible financial institutions and businesses will never request this type of information via e-mail. Also, it is important to know that many of these e-mails are especially deceptive in that they appear to come from a trusted source. In many cases, the sender’s e-mail address looks like it originated from the recipient’s company or institution. Other features of phishing include:
In order to protect yourself from phishing scams, follow these guidelines:
If you respond to a phishing e-mail with your personal information, the University Information Security Office recommends that you sign up for credit monitoring immediately. This type of service will alert you to any suspicious activity that may occur on your credit report.
In addition, if you respond to an e-mail with your Georgetown e-mail username and/or password, contact the UIS Help Desk immediately to change your password. The Help Desk is available Monday-Friday, from 8:30a.m.-5:00p.m., at 202-687-4949 (faculty and staff) or 202-687-4577 (Main Campus students). The Help Desk can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org (faculty and staff) or email@example.com (Main Campus students).
More information about information security for Georgetown University faculty, staff and students can be found at Security Awareness.