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Phishing awareness

You may not like the idea, but no twice removed uncle of yours, not familiar to any of your family members that you know, has died. Nor did he leave you his estate. Or is the cheque attached. Or, or, or. Never. Ever. Sorry.

Phishing warning signs

  • You don’t know the sender, or a familiar email address is slightly different.
  • The sender don’t really know who you are: Dear sir/mam. It was sent to many people, irrelevant people, or your email address was in the Bcc field.
  • The date and/or time does not make sense: too late, too early, etc.
  • The email subject is unusual (coming from someone you know), and asks for urgent attention. Or it may be generic, or presented as a reply on a message you never sent.
  • The content is unusual, with grammar and spelling errors. Or it makes you uneasy or confused – if it does not make any sense, it.
  • Don’t open a suspect attachment. If you are concerned about the email, the attachment may compromise your machine.
  • Hyperlinks may lead you intounsafe territory – don’t open links without proper descriptions, containing spelling errors, or if you did not expect to be sent that type of information.
  • Be cautious of websites asking any personal information, or with misspelled URLs.


Here is an example of a NO-GO email:


From: winner@micosoft.com

To: you@ufs.ac.za

Date: Thursday December 16, 2017 2:17 am

Subject: Urgent response required

We are pleased to announce that you are a winner in the lucky annual Microsoft sweepstakes since your e-mail address was selected.  To claim your reward of $1 000 000 (one million US dollars) click on the link below and complete the required information within the next 24 hours.

http://www.micosoft.com

We are looking forward to make you the next millionaire.

Sincerely,

David Sharp
Microsoft Manager