October 1, 2023

Information Security Alert on SPAM and Phishing

Over the past few weeks several UMW users have fallen victim to email SPAM or Phishing attempts. Providing your account information or clicking a link in an email from an unknown sender or in a suspicious email from a known sender not only can compromise your account – it cancause problems and delays to the entire UMW email system. For example, email messages that are being sent to off-campus email addresses are currently at risk for having their delivery delayed – or possibly blocked.  Conversely, incoming emails may also be delayed.

UMW IT and other reputable organizations will never ask you to confirm your account information through email.

Users who give out account information via email allow spammers and/or criminals to access their accounts either to send additional SPAM through our email system to internal and external users or access the content of your mailbox.  This is a serious security concern.  Furthermore, external email providers may elect to blacklist the umw.edu domain preventing email messages to be sent to or received from external senders including students.  Mailboxes that are used to send SPAM will be immediately suspended and users will be contacted so we can work to properly secure the account.

Below is additional information on what we are doing and what you can do to protect the UMW email system.

Here’s how we protect you:

  • SPAM filtering. UMW IT utilizes a robust industry-standard SPAM filtering utility. While the SPAM filter or junk mail settings may occasionally catch legitimate email, they block email that can compromise your account and computer.  We typically block over 80 percent of incoming email messages as spam per day.
  • Password reset requirement. Our additional password requirements help to safeguard your account.  For more information on setting a secure password please visit:http://technology.umw.edu/information-security/passwords/
  • Anti-virus, security awareness training, and SPAM/Phishing alerts. These are designed to keep your computer secure and you informed.

Here’s how you can protect yourself:

  • Verify that emails are from a trusted sender.  Do not reply to emails from unknown senders that ask for personal information or attempt to get you to click a link.  Do not click on links from unknown senders.
  • Allow your anti-virus updates to run.  This is the last line of protection for your computer.  Run full and quick scans on your PC using the installed Symantec Anti-Virus program.  If you need assistance, please contact the Help Desk  at HelpDesk@umw.edu or (540) 654-2255
  • Report suspicious emails. Suspicious emails or concerns about your account being compromised should be reported immediately to it-abuse@umw.edu.
About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.