• Information Security Definitions and Information

    Learning how to identify phishing and scam emails, and how to fact-check information you read online is extremly important, especially in today's world of fake news. Here are few resources to help you better identify the legitimacy of the website or email.

    This Common Sense Media Legit-o-Meter poster helps you identify if information is legitimate or fake.

    The Department of Homeland has a great poster that describes how to deterine if an email is a scam or phishing for information.  

    Below is a list of definitions to help you better understand the different types of information security incidents.


    Definitions

    Adware: Software that automatically displays or downloads advertising material (often unwanted) when a user is online.

    Scareware: Malicious computer programs designed to trick a user into buying and downloading unnecessary and potentially dangerous software, such as fake antivirus protection.

    Phishing: The fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies (even pretending to be from an employee's own company) in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.

    Virus: A piece of code that is capable of copying itself and typically has a detrimental effect, such as corrupting the system or destroying data. Viruses must execute itself.

    Trojans: Imposter-files that claim to be something desirable but, in fact, are malicious. A very important distinction from true viruses is that they do not replicate themselves, as viruses do. Trojans contain malicious code, that, when triggered, cause loss, or even theft, of data. In order for a Trojan horse to spread, you must, in effect, invite these programs onto your computers--for example, by opening an email attachment.

    SPAM: Also known as Junk Email. SPAM is the act of mass-mailing, nearly identical and unsolicited messages that are sent by email.


    What should I do if I encounter Malware?

      Examples What to do?
    Adware Example for Adware include: Weatherbug, iClickdownloader, Amazon Search, any Coupon programs, any additional browser tool bars Uninstall any such programs. This can be done by clicking Start  >  Control Panel  >  Programs and Features. Try sorting the list by date.
    Then contact the Service Desk, include your computer's IT number.
    Scareware Example for Scareware include: Pop-up warnings in your internet browser asking you to download/buy software or call a phone number Contact the Service Desk immediately, include your computer's IT number.
    Phishing Example for Phishing include: Phishing usually occurs via email. The email usually asks you to click a link and reset your password or provide personal information like your credit card number, social security number, passwords, etc.

    DO NOT CLICK ANY LINKS OR OPEN ANY ATTACHMENTS.

    Mark the email as junk. When you do this, PPS's system will recognize it, and mark it as junk for others.

    If you have provided personal information including your username and password, contact the Service Desk immediately. Include your computer's IT number, and what type of information you have provided. If possible, also include a copy of the email, and the email header. To learn how to email a copy of your email header, check out the instructions here.

    Virus Example for Virus include: CryptoLocker. CryptoLocker is a recent virus. CryptoLocker hijacks your documents and asks for money so you can access them again. This is also known as Ransomware. Contact the Service Desk immediately, include your computer's IT number.
    Trojans Example for Trojans include: Adware that downloads addtional Malware. Zeus, Zbot. Contact the Service Desk immediately, include your computer's IT number.
    SPAM Example for SPAM include: Phishing emails, unwanted emails, junk emails. DO NOT CLICK ANY LINKS OR OPEN ANY ATTACHMENTS.
    Mark the email as junk. When you do this, PPS's system will recognize it, and mark it as junk for others.

    If you have provided personal information including your username and password, contact the Service Desk immediately. Include your computer's IT number, and what type of information you have provided. If possible, also include a copy of the email, and the email header. To learn how to email a copy of your email header, check out the instructions here.