Phishing scams are becoming more common and harder to spot, but you can still protect yourself against these scams by taking necessary precautions when opening any email.
Criminals use phishing emails to trick recipients into sharing personal information and login credentials or clicking on dangerous links. Cybercriminals work to access an individual’s account, and then the organization’s computing systems, with malicious software, or “malware.” To disrupt operations, criminals can shut down computing programs, potentially access data and use “ransomware” to demand millions of dollars to restore encrypted systems.
Use these tips to recognize and identify red flags. You should be suspicious when:
- The email includes the UF Health alert warning.
- The email requests personal information or login credentials.
- You do not know and trust the source.
- The sender’s account appears suspicious (hover over the sender’s name to see the full email address).
- It’s poorly written with bad grammar and/or spelling.
- It promises a gift or reward for your response.
- It seems urgent, asking you to immediately reply and provide information.
- It includes a link you don’t recognize (hover over a link without clicking it to see the full URL).