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Information Technology - Change Management

Posted on: August 29, 2018

Protect yourself from phishing emails with these tips

phishing icon

Aug. 29, 2018 — Well-crafted phishing and fraud emails have become more common and sophisticated recently, Hampton's Information Technology Department says.

Phishing emails are attempts to gather sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card information, and sometimes install malicious software on recipients' devices by tricking them into clicking on links within the email. They are usually sent to a wide audience.

Always question the origin of emails, especially when they include an urgent request for action that doesn’t follow standard policy or procedures, such as verifying account username and password or processing financial transactions.  If there’s any doubt about the authenticity of a message, verifying the message by an alternate means of communication is always a good idea.

Watch out for these telltale signs of phishing emails and make sure you don’t take the bait:

  • Sense of urgency. Beware of forced time pressure, it’s a common tactic.
  • It just doesn’t look or feel right. Trust your instincts.
  • Scare tactics. Intimidating phrases are often used to get you to act without thinking.
  • Any request for sensitive data, banking transactions or username & password.
  •  Using information on you or others (info found online) to sound more convincing or personalized.
  • Phishing and fraud communications can take many forms – email, text messages (Smishing), phone calls (Vishing).
  • Cybersquatting. The use of lookalike URLs meant to trick you, such as www.M1crosoft.com or www.gmai1.com.

It is important that we all remain diligent in keeping ourselves, our systems and our data safe and secure. For assistance at any time, please do not hesitate to contact the IT Service Desk at 757-727-6486 (24 hours a day) or by email at ithelp@hampton.gov (for support during normal business hours). IT can help reset passwords and scan devices for malicious software.

Refer to the document How to Spot a Phishing Scam that shows common techniques to identify phishing emails.

An image of the phishing email is shown.

phishing email screenshot 522018

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