Don’t Get Hooked on a Phishing Trip

Hackers are getting more and more tricky with ways to steal your personal information, as well as private records in your school’s databases. Some phishing emails even use names of people you know to bait the hook. By hacking into your personal computer or school system, offenders could steal your identity without your knowledge; or they highjack private records and hold them for ransom. This scenario has become far too common in schools nationwide. Do your part to become savvy enough to detect suspicious emails and other devious attempts to steal private information.

If you click on a link or open an email attachment within a phishing email, you just gave a hacker accesses to all of your personal information. Now that you let them into your computer, they can quickly retrieve all of your passwords (e.g., bank accounts, websites accounts, shopping accounts) and use them to clean you out. They can also access your school’s information just as you are able to; they could also use the opportunity to plan a virus. To help you be discerning, here is some advice from Nathan, our school’s media and technology supervisor. In addition, you can take this quiz which offers some examples of legitimate and phishing emails:

  1. Always be alert when looking at email (don’t just click on a link without thinking).
  2. Be extra careful when you do not know the sender.
  3. Always check the “from” address (look out for slight misspellings or .net instead of .com)
  4. Never open an attachment from someone you don’t trust.
  5. Don’t click a link without knowing where you are going.