As we all prepare to rest over the winter break, Information Services would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone of good practices for staying cyber secure over the holidays.
Criminals are taking advantage of recent events to craft convincing emails, texts and phone calls to trick you into giving up your personal information. It is important to remain vigilant to phishing scams and remember that you must never give anyone your University username and password, especially if you are asked for it by email, via a link or by text.
Recent examples of phishing scams include parcel delivery scams, where fraudsters pose as parcel delivery companies claiming that they have been unable to deliver a parcel, package or large letter. These emails may ask the recipient to log in to pay a fee or provide additional details in order to rearrange the delivery. There have also been recent examples of criminals impersonating the NHS and sending recipients fake links for scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments. These types of emails can be very convincing as they are designed to look legitimate.
We urge everyone to be mindful when reading emails, messages or texts of the tactics that these criminals use. Here are few warning signs which can help you detect phishing scams:
- An unusual email address which might not match the name on the account
- An impersonal greeting at the start of the message
- Grammatical and spelling errors
- An unusual sense of urgency in the tone
- An undue sense of secrecy
If you spot a suspicious email, please forward it to the Information Centre immediately so that we can investigate it.
In addition to being vigilant when dealing with email, you can also do the following things to keep yourself safe from cyber threats:
- Ensure that your devices are protected with strong passwords or biometric authentication (i.e. fingerprints)
- Only download and install apps from known, reputable sources.
- Keep your devices up to date and ensure that your anti-virus software is switched on.
- Lock away devices or confidential paperwork that will go unused for any period of time.
We hope that everyone has a safe winter break and we look forward to welcoming you back in the new year.