What is E-mail Spam and Phishing?
E-mail spam are messages sent to many people, often simultaneously, that either contain web links to Internet websites that host malware or contain executable malware within the message designed to infect the computer when opened. These messages are also called junk e-mail.
Phishing is the term for messages sent to individuals via e-mail or text message with the intent to fool unsuspecting recipients into providing personal information, such as user names, passwords and financial account information. They often employ social engineering tactics by creating messages that appear to be legitimate. These messages can also lure individuals to malware-hosting websites.
Spear phishing differs from phishing in that it targets a specific department, division or college, seeking unauthorized access to protected information. These messages allegedly come from IT support staff or other professionals in a position of authority from within the targeted department, division or college. As with phishing, these e-mails will attempt to trick users into divulging personal or financial information, or their credentials, or entice them into clicking on a link that could install malware on the computer.
Please DO NOT click on links in suspicious emails. Treat any unsolicited phone calls or emails with skepticism. When in doubt call the IT Help Desk at x6137 (on-campus) or 281.998.6137 (off-campus).
We will never ask for your username and password details in an e-mail or by phone.
It is also a violation of the College’s IT security policy to surrender your username and password details in this manner.
Phishing and junk email can be reported directly from your mailbox. To learn how, read the step-by-step instructions available in this document, How to Report Junk or Phishing Emails
The samples below are actual messages that are currently, or were previously, circulated at the College.