IT Services Secure IT How To Avoid Phishing Attacks

How To Avoid Phishing Attacks

Cyber attackers have sophisticated methods at their disposal, but the truth is, phishing remains the most common form of cyber attack.  Let us explain

  • Phishing describes untargeted, mass emails sent to multiple people asking for sensitive information (eg: bank details), to open an attachment or encouraging them to visit a fake website.
  • Spear phishing, is a more targeted form of phishing, where the email is designed to look like it's from a person the recipient knows and/or trusts.

When a user clicks on the link or opens the attachment, their computer gets infected or their information is stolen, or both.

Recovering your identity and access to online services can be a real pain, so it’s worthwhile spending some time to educate yourself on how to avoid these types of scams.

Practical tips to avoid phishing

Luckily, avoiding phishing can be fairly straightforward, and with some reasonable caution, becoming a victim can be avoided. Here are some practical tips:

  1. Do NOT click on a web link in an email or open an attachment in an email unless you know and trust the sender.
  2. Use your mouse to hover over links to see if they are genuine.
  3. James Cook University will never ask you for your password or information about your account via email.
  4. If you receive a suspicious attachment, you can submit it to third-party virus scanning products like Virus Total for analysis.

What to do if you've clicked the link? 

If you've already clicked the link and entered your details, the most important step to take is to change your JCU password immediately.

If you require assistance with changing your password or have any further enquiries then please contact the IT Help Desk.