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Sunday, November 1, 2015

Don't Believe Everything You Read in Your Inbox!

All EMS ISD employees need to actively watch for spam/phishing messages in your email inbox. Spam comes from senders you do not know, but are designed to look like they come from trustworthy companies. The most recent scams to make the rounds through our district are very realistic-looking, and appear to be emails from UPS, IKEA, and health insurance organizations. Clicking links or downloading attachments from these messages can and will install malware on your computer. Our network administrators are working hard to protect our own network, but it is also important that we all stay aware of threats to our district accounts, personal accounts accessed on district equipment, and personal devices.

How to Recognize Spam or Phishing Messages

  • Who is the Sender? Are you expecting a package from UPS? If not, this email is probably not legitimate. Even if the sender name shows a company name, look at the actual email address. If the email address is misspelled or looks odd, it could be spam.
  • Spelling and Oddly-Worded Messages. Spam often contains misspellings and oddly-worded sentences. This can include bizarre capitalization and weird punctuation. Many have gibberish at the end of the message.
  • Read the message. If the email claims that you are the winner of a contest you didn’t enter, or that you have a package coming that you didn’t order, this is most likely spam. 
  • Attachments from unknown senders. If you receive an email with an attachment from someone you do not know, or without any text in the email body, it is likely spam. 

Important Tips When Dealing with Spam

  • Never click on links in a spam message. In some cases, clicking will result in you confirming to the spammer that the email address is valid, making you a prime suspect for more spam.
  • Do not use the unsubscribe links in spam emails. This will likely NOT unsubscribe you, but actually confirm that this is a valid and monitored email address.
  • Do not open attachments in spam. Most of these attachments install malware or viruses on your device and can potentially use your computer to forward spam out to all of your email contacts.
If you have questions about potential spam messages, please contact the Computer Repair Technician or Instructional Technologist for your campus.

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