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Staying safe online: 6 tips to identify and deal with a phishing message

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Information Security is everyone’s responsibility. We will regularly share updates to help you stay up to date with the latest guidance, so you can protect yourself, your data and your devices.

Phishing campaigns often target people during periods of change or upheaval, such as moving to university. Most try to tap into your hopes, fears, guilt and curiosity. Cyber criminals are after your data, and other people's data you may have access to.

As you start or return to your studies with us, take time to familiarise yourself with our Information Security webpages and how to keep your information safe while studying online.

Follow these 6 tips:

1. Stop and think

Scams and phishing messages rely on you clicking, replying or entering information without checking first. If you are unsure, don't do it until you have confirmed the message is genuine.

2. Check twice, click once 

If you have any doubts about a communication, check with the sender or IT Service Desk to confirm it is genuine before clicking on links or acting on requests.

3. Be suspicious

Be suspicious of messages informing you of an issue with your device that needs fixing. Neither the university IT Service Desk, nor your Internet Service Provider (ISP) will contact you to fix an issue unless you've logged a call. The university will not introduce a new IT solution or process unless it has first been communicated through official channels, such as an email from the IT Service Desk or an article on Student News.

4. Be security conscious 

Even when you're not studying or working. Hoaxers don't care how they get through to you. For example WhatsApp have released guidance on hoax messages.

5. Think about what you send too

Remember to always check your messages before you press send – are you sending it to the correct recipients?

6. Log out of shared devices

If you're studying from home and sharing devices with family, remember to log out of university systems, don't leave them logged in.

You've been hacked, what next?

Change your password immediately. Use antivirus/malware software to check and remove virus or malware on your computer and contact the IT Service Desk for advice. Contact your bank or relevant finance companies if you think your bank or payment card details may have been compromised.

We're here to help

To report suspicious messages or for support if you suspect you have clicked on a malicious link, please contact the IT Service Desk.  

If you have any questions or comments on Information Security or Data Protection then please contact Information-Security@gre.ac.uk or compliance@gre.ac.uk.