San Jose State University : Site Name


Friday, November 5, 2010

Frauds. Fakes. Con-jobs.

Someone is always attempting to collect personal and confidential information from you. It could be your passwords. It could be your bank account numbers. Techie folks call this “phishing” because fraudsters cast out thousands of emails in hopes of hooking just one gullible person. Fortunately, Google has some excellent tools to help you avoid the criminals.

Tools aside, nothing beats vigilance on your part.

SJSU will never send you an email asking you for your password. Your bank will never send you an email asking you for your account number. If you receive an email asking for something like that, no matter how good or real it looks, it’s a fake.

Some emails may send you to a web page to collect information, but that web page, no matter how good or real it looks, may also be fake. Please take the time to look at the address bar in your web browser. If the address doesn’t make sense, it’s fake.

So what do you do when you get a message that’s a fake?

If it’s just advertising, use the “report spam” button above the message. This will teach Google’s automated systems about the kind of spam you receive and want to block.

If it’s an attempt to get personal information from you, it’s not just spam. In the upper-right section of each message, there’s a little triangle that pulls down a menu, and in that menu there’s a “report phishing” option. If you get a message you think is a fraud, use this “report phishing” option. Analysts at Google will review the message and update their filters with the information you provided.

When people use the “report phishing” option, they help others avoid these frauds. After Google confirms a message is a fraud attempt, they mark all the matching messages in Google with a big red banner, protecting others who may not have read the email yet.

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