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Teach yourself how to recognize an e-mail scam

In the past month, nearly 200 K-State computers were compromised when people were tricked into opening a malicious e-mail attachment. Since January, nearly 300 K-Staters have given their eID password to hackers in response to spear phishing e-mail scams.

Besides a reminder to never give out your eID password in an e-mail, it is time once again to emphasize the importance of individual users learning how to recognize a scam or malicious e-mail.

One of the best tools for learning how to distinguish a legitimate e-mail from a malicious one is the Phishing and Spam IQ Quiz produced by Sonicwall. The quiz displays 10 different e-mails and has you decide whether each is legitimate or a phishing scam. At the end, it compares your answers to the correct ones and provides an explanation for each e-mail message.

The explanations are particularly instructive. Here are two examples:

To get the most out of this quiz, you should review ALL the explanations, not just the ones you didn’t get right. Take the time to go through this quiz and the explanations so you can prevent becoming the next victim of these increasingly sophisticated attacks.

About Harvard Townsend (harv@ksu.edu)

Chief Information Security Officer