Phishing – (not Fishing) the process of attempting to acquire sensitive or personal information by fraudulent means such as usernames and passwords or bank account details.
Swinburne is constantly receiving such fraudulent emails, and while for the most part these are blocked by our spam filters, some either get through or are released by individuals who think the emails are legitimate. Spear Phishing is more targeted and we have seen such fraudulent emails which include information and terminology specific to Swinburne in an attempt to make the email seem legitimate.
The following information is presented in an effort to assist you so that you “Don’t Get Caught!”.
A key and important way to protect yourself from phishing attempts is to be able to recognise them when you see them, but just what does a phishing email or website look like? Microsoft have published an excellent article, How to recognize phishing email messages, links, or phone calls, that outlines phishing scams and gives examples of what both a phishing emails and websites look like.
Protection from email phising attempts
Swinburne’s spam filters block most fraudulent emails, however there will be times when some get through. It is important to remember that you should never ever reply to emails requesting your username and password or bank account details. You will likely be threatened that your account will be suspended if you don’t, however do not reply or give your details. We cannot stress this enough, do not give your username and password to anyone…. not even ITS.
Protection from phishing web sites
For those using recent versions of Internet Explorer, the Microsoft SmartScreen can help. For more details on this filter see Microsoft’s article SmartScreen Filter
For Mac users, recent versions of Safari includes Anti-Phishing features that are enabled by default.
Of course such phishing filters can only protect you from known fraudulent sites, it does nothing for sites that have just cropped up. It is therefore important not to be lulled into a false sense of security, you need to be alert at all times. Best practice would recommend that you never click on a web link sent to you in an email, instead always type the URL into your browser or use your own bookmarks.
Phishing is a real problem and a serious threat. Your accounts, personal information and identity are at risk, so please take the time to learn how to identify and avoid such phishing attempts and have a safer online experience.
Other useful link are: