Posted on 4 October 2020
To protect yourself and your personal information, you need to be able to spot phishing messages and other scams. Make sure your friends know too!
What are spam and phishing?
Spam: unwanted, junk email, typically sent to large numbers of people, for the purposes of advertising, phishing, spreading malware, etc.
Phishing: fake email messages that claim to be from an organisation that you may trust (eg universities or banks). They often ask you to provide your personal or account details by replying or clicking a link. They may suggest you'll lose your account if you don't do so.
We all think we won’t be caught out, but every year IT Services have to lock accounts when students or staff fall victim to scams. Try out this quiz to see how good you are at identifying the fake emails:
Scam emails vary greatly; look out for all of the following but bear in mind that a phishing attempt may only feature one or two of these signs:
Do not respond to a phishing email. Report it to Google instead - this can help them block similar scams in the future:
Before you login or enter your details into a website you've arrived at from a link in an email, make sure you’re on the right website. Phishers can make convincing copies of other people’s websites, so you should always check the URL at the top of the page.
If a phishing message that you've received looks particularly convincing, please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org who may be able to trace other University members who have been caught out by it.
There’s even more advice from IT Services, including tips for spotting genuine University websites, at:
If IT Services suspect your account has been compromised in any way, they will lock/disable your account until they have spoken with you and made sure that it is secure. If you are unable to log in please contact the IT Support team.
If you, or your friends, fall for a phishing scam:
For more hints on spotting dodgy emails, watch this video produced by IT Services: