Academic Technology - Florida State College at Jacksonville

Academic Technology

Protect Yourself from Phishing Emails

Robyn Reese

Have you ever recieved an email from a reputable source and thought that something was not quite right about it? It may have been a well-disguised phishing scam, designed to trick you into giving up your personal information or email login. 

Please be advised that there has been a recent rash of scam or phishing emails that appear to be coming from widely used IT services, like Dropbox. Though these emails use logos and branding that make them seem legitimate, they are scams intended to steal email login or other personal information. It is important to always be vigilant when reading emails (at work and at home), and to investigate anything that seems suspicious or unexpected before opening it or clicking on any attachments.

Here are some general clues that an email may be phishing:

  • Does it address you personally? Spam emails often do not refer to the recipient, or refer to them by email address only.
  •  Is the tone urgent and the information incomplete? Since the goal of phishing is to get you to click on a link without thinking, messages are often short with few details, but contain attachments that seem too important to ignore.
  • Who sent the message? Carefully check the email address of the sender. Though it likely will contain the name of the business that is being impersonated, there will be extra information in the domain (For example: Drop-Boxmailing@drop-boxing-authorized.com).
  • Where do the links or buttons lead? Hover, but do not click on any buttons or links within the message to ascertain that they will direct you to a legitimate website. Often, as in the case above, they will direct you to a site that looks legitimate, but has a URL that is too long or contains extraneous information designed to confuse the reader.
  • Does it ask you to enter your email username and password to access the link or attachment? No reputable company would ask you to login with this information.

If you receive an email that you suspect may be a scam or phishing, do not open it. Instead, please forward it to the IT department, so that we can investigate and report back to you.  Instructions for how to report spam or phishing emails can be found here in our Knowledge Base.