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Email Security & Awareness


Beware of Phishing E-mails

Montgomery College faculty and staff are often the target of phishing e-mails. Below is an example of an actual phishing e-mail that has been received by MC employees. While there is no panacea for spotting a phishing e-mail, the following list contains some common characteristics and techniques used:

  1. Requesting sensitive information such as passwords. MC IT STAFF WILL NEVER ASK FOR YOUR PASSWORDS!
  2. Phishing e-mails often appear as an important notice or urgent matter such as a prize notification or threats to deactivate your account.
  3. Use of aggressive or intimidating language such as 'immediately' and threats to deactivate your account.
  4. Misspelled words and poor grammar that take away from the professional context of the e-mail.
  5. Use of an impersonal greeting.

If you are unsure whether an email is legitimate, contact the person or organization sending the email and ask. If you receive a phishing e-mail claiming to be from Montgomery College, please send a copy to

Here is a real-life example of a phishing e-mail and some pointers as to how you can identify it as one!