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Phishing Attempts Highest at Start of Semester

PHOTO: Postdoc students working in epidemiology lab

A fellow Research-1 university recently notified a million people that their personal information may have been compromised. The best way to prevent this from happening at UF is to understand what Phishing is, how to spot a “Phish”, and to take precautions to prevent a Phishing attempt leading to a data breach (such as research data, student records, and/or employee information) from occurring. Phishing threats are ever-constant at UF, but highest at the beginning of a semester.

Phishing is an attempt to steal information through social engineering. Often, the email is made to look like it comes from a familiar group or organization, like the UF Computing Help Desk, but contains a link redirecting you to a website set up to steal log-in credentials, passwords, and other personal information. Some good things to know:

  • NO ONE FROM UF WILL EVER ASK FOR YOUR GATORLINK CREDENTIALS AND PASSWORD VIA EMAIL…NO ONE!
  • Before clicking a link in an email, place the mouse pointer over the link and inspect the web address the link goes to. If you are suspicious of the web address…do not click!
  • Create strong passwords and encrypt your mobile devices, including flash drives. Learn more about encryption here.

If you think you received a Phishing attempt in your UF email, please forward it to abuse@ufl.edu. Your local IT support can offer additional advice on Phishing precautions.