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:
- Requesting sensitive information such as passwords. MC IT STAFF WILL NEVER ASK FOR YOUR PASSWORDS!
- Phishing e-mails often appear as an important notice or urgent matter such as a prize notification or threats to deactivate your account.
- Use of aggressive or intimidating language such as 'immediately' and threats to deactivate your account.
- Misspelled words and poor grammar that take away from the professional context of the e-mail.
- 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 ITSecurity@montgomerycollege.edu.
Here is a real-life example of a phishing e-mail and some pointers as to how you can identify it as one!