What is Phishing?

One of the most common security threats faced by Internet users is something known as phishing. Phishing is an attempt at identity theft where the criminal impersonates some official entity and tries to get the victim to provide them with personal information such as Social Security numbers, Credit Card numbers, and passwords. The information can then be used by the thief to impersonate the victim in order to commit fraud and to steal or damage the victim's personal resources.

Email is one of the more common avenues for phishing attacks. Email phishing attacks occur against Geneseo users almost daily. The criminal will send an email with a subject line and body that appear to come from an official source:

From: Geneseo Helpdesk <baduser@yahoo.com>
Subject: SUNY Geneseo Helpdesk

Your account has been targeted for deletion. In order not to lose your account you need to send us your username and password immediately in order to confirm your identity.

Alternatively you can click on the following link to login and verify your identity:

Geneseo Help Desk

You should always distrust such communications.

How should I guard against Phishing attacks?

How can I help to protect SUNY Geneseo from Phishing?

  1. When CIT receives reports of widely delivered malicious email, we will Tweet or post a status message. You can also help us protect our inboxes by marking the malicious email as spam or reporting it as phishing. 
  2. To report the message as spam in Gmail, click on the Spam button. 
    Spam button
  3. To report phishing in Gmail, click the drop-down arrow next to “Reply” and select “Report phishing.” Reporting a message as phishing will prevent that user from sending you more emails.report phishing
  4. Most importantly, never reply to suspicious emails, tweets, or posts with your personal or financial information. Also, don’t fill out forms or sign-in screens that link from these messages.

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