Protecting Yourself Against Phishing

What is Phishing?

Phishing is when an email claiming to be from a legitimate source, such as an HBS email address, your bank, or your favorite retailer, attempts to trick you into providing your personal credentials or information. Legitimate organizations should never ask you for your password or other personal information by an email.

Common Phishing Tactics

Phishers are getting smarter. While there are still some who give themselves away by using bad grammar or spelling, this is not always the case. In most cases, the phishers will try to get you to act quickly before you have a chance to think it through.

False Claims of Urgency

Phishers will try to get you to react quickly, without thinking. Often these come in the way of threatening that something bad will happen if you don't take action immediately.

For example, your account will be locked, or your credit card information could be stolen!

Other times they do this by offering free stuff (like coupons for a food truck).

Claiming to be Someone Else

You're much more likely to click on a link or open an email if you think it came from a colleague or from an official source. Unfortunately, phishers like to lie about who they are! A common tactic is to pretend they are contacting you about a shipment or payment that needs your attention.

So, What Can You Do?

Falling for these schemes can cause you a lot of grief. If your HBS account is compromised, you could lose access to the account for some time. If it's a personal account that is compromised, your personal finances could be at risk.