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TO: Dowling College Administration and Staff
DATE: 3/1/2005 1:15:44 PM
RE: Phishing

Hello, all,

Sorry to clutter your inbox with more technobabble, but...

Spam continues to be a problem on our mail system and on the Internet as a whole, but recently a new danger has arisen: so called "phishing" emails. These emails purport to come from a bank, a brokerage, PayPal, eBay or other entity where you need to login and where you need to provide personal information in order to use their service. The email tries to trick you into visiting a convincing looking replica of the real entity's site, where the "phisher" will harvest your login credentials, bank account numbers, etc..

We're seeing that about 3/4 of these are being tagged as "spam" by our firewall, but there are still some of them getting through, which is cause for concern. We don't want you to become a victim of identity theft, so we are offering some advice and strategies to protect yourself.

First, since most financial companies do not do business via email, you should immediately be suspicious of ANY email claiming to come from such a company. We suggest that if you receive an email request to login somewhere to "reauthorize" or "confirm" your identity, that you do two things:

  1. TELEPHONE the company to ask if they are truly the ones seeking this information. Don't use a phone number in the email -- use the one you have in your own records.
  2. If you want to visit the company's website, TYPE the address of the website into your browser instead of clicking on a (potentially phony) link in an email.

If you do these two things, you will greatly reduce the chance of identity theft wreaking havoc on you.

In addition, you can protect yourself online by following the advice at http://www.dowling.edu/mydowling/tech/securepc-v2.html , and protect your Dowling email account by following the advice at http://www.dowling.edu/mydowling/tech/gw-spam-rule.html .

If you have questions or concerns not addressed here please contact the Help Desk at x3445.

Chris

Director of Administrative Information Services
Dowling College, Oakdale, NY

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