Whoops...You just got phished!

Fortunately, this was an authorized training simulation no information was saved or collected. If it had been a real phishing attempt, your online safety could have been compromised. Opening and reading email is fine, but clicking on malicious links or attachments could cause you harm.

Common clues of a phishing attack

  • Messages that create a tremendous sense of urgency may be trying to rush you into making a mistake.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Official organizations don't usually send messages that are full of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. They also don't come from personal email addresses (such as @gmail.com, @yahoo.com, or @hotmail.,com).
  • Messages that open with "Dear Customer" or some other generic greeting should get close scrutiny.
  • No legitimate organization should request highly sensitive information over email such as your credit card number or account password.
  • The message comes from someone you know, but they just don't sound quite right. Cyber attackers can send emails that look like they come from your boss, co-worker, or friend in order to gain your trust.

How to avoid malicious links

Before you click on a link, hover over it with your mouse cursor and observe its true destination. Confirm that the destination displayed is what your expected and that it is going to the organization's legitimate website.

To be extra safe, don't click the link at all and manually type the destination into your browser. For example, if you get an email from your bank asking you to update your bank account, ignore the link in the email and instead type your bank's website address into your browser.

On a mobile device? No problem. Simply hold your finger down on the link, you should see the true destination appear in a pop-up window.

Please direct questions related to this information to the IT Services Help Desk at 320-363-2228 or email [email protected].