Oakland University Security Awareness Program
Welcome to our security awareness program, designed to educate and arm you against security attacks on your computer and on your personally identifiable information.

In the "real world," someone could steal your pocketbook and use your credit cards and/or identification to make purchases or cause all sorts of other trouble for you. This is known as "identity theft." But did you know that you are also subject to a similar form of identity theft in the virtual world online?

Cyber criminals exist with one purpose: trick you into giving them access to your personal information. They can do this in several ways:
Disguised as a friendly email from someone in your contact list, they encourage you to click on a link, which sends a "spybot" virus into your email address book, which then sends a similar link to all of your contacts, looking like a friendly email from YOU.


Disguised as someone you do business with (your bank, a shopping account, your email provider), they trick you into entering your username and password in order to stop some catastrophic event from happening to your account.


Both of these examples demonstrate a computer scam known as "phishing" (pronounced "fishing"). Basically, the crooks are fishing for information about you that you wouldn't normally give them, and they get more and more effective in tricking you.

Still confused? Watch the following video:

Note: Oakland University Technology Services requests that you click the "Report Phishing" link, found in the REPLY dropdown menu, not simply delete these emails (see example below). You can also forward them to the or email addresses mentioned in the video. If you don't see a "Report phishing" option, or it says "Report not phishing," then Google has already identified this as a phishing scam and you can simply click "Report spam."


Next: Examples of Phishing Emails