What Is Phishing?
Phishing is when a criminal uses emails, web forms, and viruses to:
- Trick you into revealing your password or other personal information.
- Trick you into installing a virus.
These criminals may be trying to commit:
- Fraud, such as in identity theft or credit card fraud.
- Extortion, such as with ransomware or blackmail.
- Data theft, such as for selling personal information on the dark web.
- Computer hacking, such accessing the Mount’s or your personal computers.
So, it is very important to know how to spot phishing.
The Red Flags of Phishing Emails
Common traits of phishing emails include:
- Poorly written: Spelling, grammatical, or capitalization errors.
- Unfamiliar email address.
- Threatening, urgent, with time limits or deadlines.
- Contain links to websites with unfamiliar or strange URLs (web addresses).
- Asks for personal information.
- Asks you to confirm or validate your account.
- May have attachments.
- You did not initiate the communication.
- Too good to be true.
- Just doesn’t look right.
Phishing Web Forms
The links in phishing emails sometimes link to fake web forms, and they may look like legitimate forms.
Check the URL of any web form you use to make sure it:
- Starts https:// instead of http://.
- Links to website you trust, such as msvu.ca or microsoft.com.
You can view some example phishing login forms here.
What To Do If Phished?
If you realize that you have replied to a phishing email or that you have clicked on a link that installed a virus, software, browser plugin or extension:
- Please change your password immediately, and
- Let the IT&S Help Desk know so we can check your account for unusual activity.