Spoofing and Phishing and Spam – OH MY!

Sometimes we receive email that we think is from a familiar/safe sender – or is it?

It's easy to determine the legitimacy of senders/email by asking yourself a few questions. Below is an example of an email message that spoofed Lara GB's identity in order to lure you to take action (reply, click on a link, etc). This kind of email can expose you and your contacts to any number of malware attacks.

This can happen with any device: desktop, laptop, Chromebook, phone, etc.

Steps you can take in practicing safe email use:

  1. Take your time and read over all information in the entire email before clicking on anything or responding:
    1. Sender – is the sender's email address familiar and correct?
    2. All CERSD employee/student email should always come from a "cersd.org" email account.
    3. Syntax – does it "read" right, or do some of the words seem out of place, are awkward, or just plain don't flow like they should?
    4. Composition/familiar elements – are there unexpected missing, different or extra elements to the email (names, personalized signatures, etc)
    5. Spelling – are there uses of non-US English spellings?
    6. Punctuation – do you see extra or missing punctuation?
    7. Capitalization – are words inappropriately capitalized (or not)
    8. Something just doesn't look right – when doubt, DO NOT take requested action or reply! Call the sender and contact your Tech team* for help.

Replying or otherwise engaging an illegitimate can have devastating consequences that include:

  • Identity theft , including using your email identity, personal information, and that of others
  • Ransomware – widespread denial of access to all data – this could extend beyond your personal stuff to throughout the entire organization, effectively shutting it down
  • Spam in your and others' inbox(es)
  • Locking you and others out of your account(s)
  • Exposing sensitive personal information (credit card/banking, shopping accounts, etc)
  • Exposing sensitive student information

*Your Tech Contacts:

4949 – Helpdesk automatic emergency ticket (leave detailed message)

4998 – Susie

4978 – Dennis (6:30-3:00)

4932 – Stefan (6:30-10:30)

See other articles in Tips 'n Trix.