The goal of many of these malicious messages is to gain access to your Lindenwood account by misleading you to provide your User ID and password. Though Lindenwood IT has many preventative measures in place to limit and eliminate SPAM and PHISHING messages, some messages get through our safeguards. As such, you play an important role in ensuring account and information security at Lindenwood University.
Please follow the tips below to keep your information and data secure.
Think Before You Click!
It’s fine to click on links when you’re on trusted sites. Clicking on links that appear in random emails and messages, however, is not advisable. Hover over links that you are unsure of before clicking on them. Do they lead where they are supposed to lead? A phishing email may claim to be from a legitimate company and when you click the link to the website, it may look exactly like the real website. The email may ask you to fill in the information but the email may not contain your name. Most phishing emails will start with “Dear Customer” so you should be alert when you come across these emails. When in doubt, go directly to the source rather than clicking a potentially dangerous link.
Verify a Site’s Security
It’s natural to be a little wary about supplying sensitive financial information online. Before submitting any information, make sure the site’s URL begins with “https” and there should be a closed lock icon near the address bar. Check for the site’s security certificate as well. If you get a message stating a certain website may contain malicious files, do not open the website. Never download files from suspicious emails or websites. Even search engines may show certain links which may lead users to a phishing webpage which offers low-cost products. If the user makes purchases at such a website, the credit card details will be accessed by cybercriminals.
Check Your Online Accounts Regularly
If you don’t visit an online account for a while, someone could be having a field day with it. Even if you don’t technically need to, check in with each of your online accounts on a regular basis. Get into the habit of changing your passwords regularly too. To prevent bank phishing and credit card phishing scams, you should personally check your statements regularly. Get monthly statements for your financial accounts and check each and every entry carefully to ensure no fraudulent transactions have been made without your knowledge.
Be Wary of Pop-Ups
Pop-up windows often masquerade as legitimate components of a website. All too often, though, they are phishing attempts. Many popular browsers allow you to block pop-ups; you can allow them on a case-by-case basis. If one manages to slip through the cracks, don’t click on the “cancel” button; such buttons often lead to phishing sites. Instead, click the small “x” in the upper corner of the window.
Never Give Out Personal Information
As a general rule, you should never share personal or financially sensitive information over the Internet. When in doubt, go visit the main website of the company in question, get their number and give them a call. Most of the phishing emails will direct you to pages where entries for financial or personal information are required. An Internet user should never make confidential entries through the links provided in the emails. Never send an email with sensitive information to anyone. Make it a habit to check the address of the website. A secure website always starts with “https”.
*Tips adapted from http://www.phishing.org “10 Ways to Avoid Phishing Scams
As a member of the Lindenwood Community, you also have access to information security training resources through Lynda.com. A Cyber Security Awareness Lynda Playlist has been created to support improved awareness of cybersecurity threats, issues, and best practices. Please take a moment to explore these resources.
Please use the following link to access the playlist. https://www.lynda.com/SharedPlaylist/c3353ceca5874328a7192f2518082d56?org=lindenwood.edu