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5 Ways to Protect Yourself Online

Recently, a scam was launched against the NJIT community with an email initially appearing to come from “NJIT – Office of the Bursar.” It was a hoax looking to collect credit card information.

“It feels like every week a new [cyber scam] appears, looking more realistic than those in the past,” said David F. Ullman, NJIT’s CIO and associate provost for Information Services & Technology in a university-wide memorandum distributed Nov. 2.

“Colleges and universities are targeted often because of the constant flow of new members into our communities. Many cyber scams are very realistic phishing attempts at acquiring usernames, passwords, credit card details or other personally identifiable information, and they appear to originate from some trustworthy source.”

Cyber scams are becoming very sophisticated and appear legitimate because they are branded with logos from government entities (e.g., Internal Revenue Service), banks (e.g., Chase), online vendors (e.g., PayPal), delivery services (e.g., FedEx), social media sites (e.g., Facebook) and others. Another strategy is to share pictures, other electronic attachments or an embedded link within the email, hoping you will open them or follow the link.

Here are 5 Ways to Protect Yourself From Cyber Scams:

1. Always be wary of electronic solicitations where you are asked to provide personally identifiable information or accounts and/or passwords.

2. Never open attachments unless you trust the sender.

3. Beware of suspicious emails from trusted sources in the event a friend or colleague’s account was compromised.

4. Always be wary of clicking on links within an email. Although the link may look legitimate, the true destination may be different from it appears. In most browsers and mail readers, if you hover your mouse over the link, the true destination will be displayed. If you don’t recognize the true destination, don‘t click through.  

5. Use strong passwords, change them regularly, and don’t share them with others. Immediately change your password if you feel your account has been compromised.

NJEDge.net, New Jersey’s Higher Education Network, has produced two short information security awareness videos that many will find informative. One is focused for students, and the other for faculty and staff.

Remember, NJIT will never ask you to REPLY to an email with private information: Social Security numbers, date of birth, user IDs/passwords, credit card information.

NJIT logon credentials will only be asked at the legitimate point of entry to a NJIT system (e.g., Highlander Pipeline, Moodle, Webmail by Google) when you have actively initiated entry to the system. Be wary of providing login credentials unless you have initiated the action.

If you have questions or suspect you may have been victimized by one of these scams, please contact the IST Help Desk at (973) 596-2900.