Cybersecurity Tip #2 – Secure IT: play hard to get

This week’s cybersecurity focus is to “Secure IT.” by educating yourself about phishing. The simple definition of phishing is social engineering using digital methods for malicious purposes. The definition is fluid due to constantly changing technologies, but some examples include:

  • Malicious Email – It can look like it comes from a financial institution, an e-commerce site, a government agency or any other service or business. It often urges you to act quickly, because your account has been compromised, your order cannot be fulfilled, or there is another urgent matter to address.
  • Spear Phishing – Spear phishing involves highly specialized attacks against specific targets or small groups of targets to collect information or gain access to systems. A recent example here on campus was a targeted email to students from a purported ASU alum regarding a (fake) job opportunity for dog care.
  • Imposter Scams – Gift cards are a great way to give a gift. But did you know they are also a scammer’s favorite way to steal money? Gift cards and reloading of cards is the #1 payment method for imposter scams. This scam is so widespread that the Federal Trade Commission set up a webpage to address the issue:
  • Spam & Phishing on Social Networks – Spam, phishing and other scams aren’t limited to just email. They’re also prevalent on social networking sites. The same rules apply on social networks: When in doubt, throw it out. This rule applies to links in online ads, status updates, tweets and other posts.

An attack can have devastating results. For individuals, this includes unauthorized purchases, the stealing of funds, or identify theft. For corporate and government networks, phishing is often used to gain a foothold as part of a larger attack.

Criminals are always looking for ways to hook you with a new phishing scam, so play hard to get. For some simple tips to Secure IT., check out this flyer from our friends at the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies: How to spot and avoid phish.

Computing Services is here to help you with cybersecurity and answer any questions you may have. Feel free to contact us at (719) 587-7741,, or stop by our offices in the Computing Services building.

Have a great day!
ASU Computing Services

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