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What is phishing? Phishing is the attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and, indirectly, money), often for malicious reasons, by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. It is a form of cybercrime. The training video linked below highlights steps you can take to protect your passwords and account information from being exploited.

If you unintentionally fall victim to a phishing scam, see Recover from a Phishing Scam.


Types of Phishing

  1. Spear phishing: phishing attempts directed at specific individuals or companies.
  2. Clone phishing: a type of phishing attack whereby a legitimate, and previously delivered, email containing an attachment or link has had its content and recipient address(es) taken and used to create an almost identical or cloned email. The attachment or link within the email is replaced with a malicious version and then sent from an email address spoofed to appear to come from the original sender. It may claim to be a resend of the original or an updated version to the original.
  3. Whaling: phishing attacks directed specifically at senior executives and other high-profile targets within businesses.
  4. Phone phishing: messages that claimed to be from a bank told users to dial a phone number regarding problems with their bank accounts.
  5. SMS phishing: cell phone text messages designed to induce people into divulging their personal information.

Clues to Look For

The following are clues that can help identify a phishing message.


titleSuspicious Message?

Always contact the Help Desk if you receive a message and are unsure of its validity. This helps us track how widespread the problem is, and better protect you and your information.

titleStill need help?
For additional assistance, contact the IT Help Desk.

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