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Protecting Yourself from Phishing Scams: Students Beware!

In today’s digital age, phishing scams have become a common threat, and students are often targeted. Students routinely receive employment and internship scams to their inbox. Whether you’re looking for part-time work or an internship, it’s important for students to understand and prevent these scams.

The Student Target

Phishing scams that target students often exploit their desire for part-time jobs or internships. Scammers craft convincing emails or messages that appear to come from legitimate job providers, university career centers, faculty, or even fellow students. They promise lucrative opportunities, flexible schedules, and quick cash, making it all too tempting for students to fall into their traps.

Common Signs of a Phishing Scam

As a student, you should be vigilant for these red flags that can indicate a phishing attempt:

  1. Unsolicited Job Offers: Be cautious if you receive job offers out of the blue, especially if you haven’t applied for any positions.
  2. Too Good to Be True: If a job offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers often promise high pay for minimal effort.
  3. Urgent Requests: Phishing emails may pressure you to act quickly, creating a sense of urgency.
  4. Suspicious Links: Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown sources.
  5. Grammar and Spelling Errors: Poorly written emails or messages are often a sign of a scam. However, just because the proper grammar is used doesn’t mean that the offer is legitimate.

Protecting Yourself

Here are steps you can take as a student to protect yourself from phishing scams:

  1. Verify Sources: Always verify the legitimacy of job offers. Contact your university’s career center or the faculty member that is listed in the email directly if you’re unsure about a job posting.
  2. Educate Yourself: Stay informed about the latest phishing tactics and scams. Attend information security workshops or seminars if available.
  3. Use Strong Authentication: Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) wherever possible to add an extra layer of security to your accounts.
  4. Report Suspicious Activity: If you receive a suspicious job offer, report it to the OIT Help Desk.
  5. Think Before You Click: Be cautious when clicking on links or downloading files, even if they appear to be from known sources. Reach out and verify the sender’s identity.
  6. Stay Informed: Keep an eye on news and alerts from your university regarding phishing threats.

Remember, the responsibility of protecting against phishing scams is crucial for students. By staying vigilant and sharing knowledge, you can create a safer digital environment for yourself and your fellow students.

Additional Resources

As always, if you are not sure if an email is a scam, don’t hesitate to reach out to the OIT HelpDesk at 865-974-9900.
Visit the OIT site for more security awareness tools and resources.