Phishing is an attempt to acquire personal information through misleading emails, texts and other electronic communications. Often these communications appear to come from trustworthy organizations, including social Web sites, legitimate banks or other businesses, or even departments or individuals within the University.

Often, the phishing email will use artwork, such as logos, that have been copied from legitimate Web sites, and they may direct you toward a fraudulent Web site that, at first glance, is indistinguishable from the real site.

The purpose of fishing is to gather information about you. You may be asked for your user name, a password, credit card details, or your Suffolk ID number. This information can be used to defraud you, or it may be used to access a system, such as the Suffolk University networks, for criminal purposes.

It's not always easy to identify a phishing attempt. Sometimes, even the sender's email address or the URL of the Web Site may appear to be legitimate. But there are ways you can protect yourself.

  • Never click on a url or link that appears in an email. Even if you see a link to a site that appears to be legitimate, close the email and go to the web site separately. If you don't know the URL of the site, you can look it up in Google.
  • Use common sense. No reputable company will ever ask for personal information via email. No bank will ever contact you via email regarding personal information. Suffolk University, or any of its departments, will never ask you for your user ID, your password, or your Suffolk University ID number.
  • If in doubt, delete the message. If you have questions, contact the Help Desk. You can also call the company or department and ask them if they are sending out emails like the one you've received.