Week 2: October 8, 2019


“Ninety percent of cyber threats start with email, making it the #1 threat vector. Phishing attacks paired with impersonation techniques have made these email threats more sophisticated and harder to detect.”

— “Fighting Phishing – 2020 Foresight.” Gartner, 2019

Email is a daily necessity in our lives, and when we click on a link or download an attachment WE become our biggest security risk despite increasingly secure technology safeguards. Think of all the information you have online and then multiply it by the over 52,000 members of the BU community. That’s a whole lot of data we need to protect and we haven’t even covered labs, research, and grant data (YIKES!). We have a huge responsibility as part of the BU community, which leads us to our tip of the week…

TIP OF THE WEEK: Don’t take the bait!

There is good news: being proactive and looking for the warning signs can and will protect you. Be wary of emails and be sure to stop and think before you take any action. Look for these clues you may have received a phish:

  • Sense of Urgency: “Immediate action required” or “Click now before your account is disabled!”
  • Requests for Information: The email requests highly sensitive information, such as your password, credit card number or social security number.
  • Be wary of Hyperlinks & Attachments: Verify the link goes where it says it’s going, hover over links to display the web address or hold your finger on a link from your mobile phone. Stop before your download anything and verify it’s valid.
  • Verify the Sender: Sent from an official organization but uses a personal email address like @gmail.com, @yahoo.com or @hotmail.com.
  • Grammatical Errors: A reputable source uses spell check!
  • Timing: Were you even expecting this email?

#BeCyberSmart and take a moment this week to read up on phishing and simple tips to protect yourself and the University.

In the unlikely event you do respond to a phishing email, the most important thing to do is change your password immediately and contact the IT Help Center.

Don’t forget! Our Fall Shred Event is happening today at the Kenmore Lot, 549 Comm Ave. from 10:00am-1:00pm, look for the truck! Tomorrow (10/9) we will be at the Agganis Lot and Thursday (10/10) we will be shredding at BUMC in front of the Talbot Building!

Have a phish-free week!