Home Spam, Phishing, and Suspicious Email
Spam, Phishing, and Suspicious Email
What are Spam and Phishing?
Spam is the use of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited—usually undesired—bulk messages indiscriminately. Some spam is merely annoying, while other spam can result in a number of very bad outcomes for unsuspecting recipients.
Phishing is a specific type of spam. Phishing or spoofing is the term used for deceitful or fraudulent emails designed to trick people to provide personal information that leaves them vulnerable to identity theft, computer viruses, and compromised email accounts. The number and sophistication of phishing scams continues to increase. Non email types of phishing include phony websites or phone calls that ask the potential victim to supply or verify personal information.
Spear Phishing is an even more insidious form of phishing, where criminals impersonate U-M officials to trick you. Watch a short video to learn about spear phishing.
Staying safe on the Internet takes some common sense steps—Stop. Think. Connect. Protect yourself and help keep the web a safer place for everyone.
Recognizing a Phishing Message
For examples of fraudulent and safe emails and webpages at U-M, see What to Watch for: Phishing Examples.
Tips to Avoid Getting Phished
How to Report Phishes
If you receive a phishy email that that appears to come from U-M, forward the entire message with full original headers (see instructions for including full original headers) to email@example.com. The email sender cannot be identified without the full original headers.
I Responded to a Phish. Now What?
If you responded to a message that may have been a phish, follow the instructions at Compromised Accounts. You should carefully review any online account that became vulnerable as a result of responding to the message. For additional guidance, contact the ITS User Advocate.
It is important to keep your computer's browser up-to-date with all security patches applied. ITS uses Microsoft Forefront for spam and virus detection. In addition, there is an ITS service that can further reduce the amount of spam that you receive on your U-M email account.
Still have questions?
View questions and answers from the U-M community about spam and phishing.
Last modified: November 24 2014.