Beware of holiday phishing attacks

Published: Dec. 26, 2012

Our campus is constantly under attack by a barrage of attempts to steal personal information (aka phishing). Often these attacks come during holidays when campus IT support is unavailable. Even when you can’t contact the IT Service Center there are still clues and resources to help you figure out if the e-mail you have received is legitimate or a phishing attempt. More at

The most important thing to remember is that the university will never send e-mail asking for your private data (e.g. passwords, SSNs, credit card numbers, etc.) and you should be suspicious of messages that direct you to provide this information. If you think it might be a phishing attempt, it probably is.

Our campus lists recently reported phishing attempts on the Phishing E-mails page ( You can report messages that you believe might be phishing attempts by following the steps on the Report Suspicious Messages page ( Although the university uses technology to block malicious e-mails and phishing websites, this technology is no substitute for being a conscientious Internet user.

Many phishing attempts try to lure you in by saying you must respond to keep your e-mail account active because you have reached your quota limit. If you’re account resides on the campus Microsoft Exchange service (this applies to most faculty and staff), you can check your quota by logging into If your account resides on CULink, you can check your quota in the web app ( in the top blue bar.

More information about phishing and how to stay out of harm’s way is on the OIT Security Awareness site (