Be vigilant for spam emails or phishing messages

Staff and students have recently received spam or phishing messages by email, text message or social media. We offer some tips for how to spot a legitimate email from the University and how to recognise malicious messages.

The messages have had themes such as offering a tax rebate from the government or providing a link to an important message from HR. Unsuspecting staff and students may have clicked on the links within these messages and entered their personal information.

What is the University doing to protect from these threats?

IT Services enabled Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) at the beginning of 2019 to reduce the risk of exposure to spam email and phishing attacks. This enables our email system to learn about trends being used to exploit organisations and works to block malicious websites and filter email messages that could present a risk.

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to pick up every threat posed to us. This is why we need our staff and students to be vigilant when reading their emails and prevent the further spread of these malicious attacks.

How can I tell if an email is legitimate?

  • Check the sender's email address - Is it familiar to you or from a trusted source.
  • Does the subject they are referring to match up with who they are - for example, is the email from a student email address, but signed off as IT Services.
  • Does the formatting of the message match the style used by the university - malicious emails often use poor grammar, use inconsistent styles and are not written in full paragraphs.
  • Do the links in the email point to a website you trust - our websites will usually include le.ac.uk or reference uniofleicester within the address.

What do I need to do?

Email

  • If you, or any of your colleagues, have clicked on any links in an email you suspect is spam or phishing and supplied information, change your password immediately. Phone the IT Service Desk on 0116 252 2253, for further assistance.
  • Spam or junk email:
    • Continue to monitor your Junk Email folder to ensure that legitimate emails are not delivered there
    • Move emails out of the Junk Email if they are legitimate. This will train Office 365 and reduce the chance of similar emails being moved to the junk mail folder in future
    • Use the 'Junk' features in Outlook or Outlook on the web, to report junk or phishing emails
  • Check the full email address of the sender if you suspect they are impersonating a University colleague or trusted third party.

Text messages/Social media

  • Unsolicited text messages containing links should always be treated with suspicion. Don't get caught up in the story being told. If the message demands urgent action, treat this with extra caution.
  • Be aware of the information you are giving out on Social media. Review your privacy settings.

IT Services and the University will never ask you to divulge your password

Need Help?

Students can contact Student Support Services for support and advice.

Find out more about IT Services including training and help at www.le.ac.uk/itservices or contact the IT Service Desk on 0116 252 2253.

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