CSUN continues to be a target for spam and phishing scams. On average, CSUN's anti-spam systems block 80-90% of all unwanted email destined for faculty and staff. Trickier to catch however are phishing scams, which attempt to lure faculty and staff into clicking on suspicious URLs and sharing passwords and other private information. Faculty and staff are encouraged to remain vigilant when responding to email and never share their passwords or click on suspicious URLs. If in doubt, verify before clicking.
Currently, email sent to and from CSUN is protected by Microsoft's Forefront anti-spam and anti-virus services, reducing the quantity of spam delivered to faculty and staff. This system also protects the outside accounts from spam that is generated by compromised CSUN email accounts. This added layer of protection dramatically reduces the risk of CSUN email being blocked by universities and other organizations as a result of one or more CSUN email accounts being compromised.
In early spring 2014, CSUN will evaluate a new anti-phishing solution (ProofPoint) to help reduce the number of phishing scams that reach faculty and staff mailboxes, and to warn faculty and staff when clicking on suspicious URLs in emails. If found to be effective, this anti-phishing solution will be implemented as part of CSUN’s anti-spam system.
How to Identify an Email Phishing Scam
Proper identification of phishing scams remains the best weapon above all anti-spam technology solutions. Spammers will divert energy elsewhere if CSUN becomes more work than profit. To identify phishing messages, look for the following characteristics:
Private data is demanded
Demand that you share your password
Hyperlinks or attachments do not look right
When hovering over the csun.edu/webmail hyperlink does not match
Inaccurate or poorly worded
Look for obvious grammar, spelling and punctuation errors
If you don't recognize the sender, don't trust the email
Hurry up and respond
Gives a sense of urgency with the threat to restrict access to your account