We are seeing more reports from faculty and staff getting e-mail messages (sometimes with an attachment) from "themselves" or another university. Even though these show a “@tlu.edu” address, these are actually coming from outside TLU (latest examples were sent from India) and the hope is that the recipient will open the attachment (usually word or a PDF document) to either sell something, or worse to download malware and infect the computer. We are working on adjusting the spam filter to account for this but the scammers are clever enough to send only a few at a time and from different sources so it likely won’t be 100% effective.
Some things to do:
- When you get e-mail with attachments. Scrutinize them to see if it was something you were expecting. If not delete them. If you are unsure we don’t mind you forwarding to us via email@example.com to confirm.
- Make sure you have your hard drive backed up. TLU IT backs up network drives regularly but is not able to back up local hard drives. Should you get a case of “ransomware” (we have had 3 cases in the last 18 months) at the least we can restore data and not lose all of your work.
- By default we have Office (Word, Excel etc) come up “read only” or protected view on files from the Internet or e-mail attachments so that you have to enable editing before you can do anything with the document. Many people don’t like this extra step so they change the restriction to edit automatically. While convenient, this action will allow malware to execute if it is present in the file by simply opening it . If you don’t have this set I recommend turning that feature on. For Word and Excel the way to do that is to select: File -> options -> Trust Center -> Trust Center settings -> select Protected View -> check the boxes to enable.
- If you would like more information on these “phishing” related security issues, take a look at the Data Security and Phishing videos on the MyTLU portal - > IT tab - > security page.
Finally, remember that TLU IT will never ask you for your password over e-mail or by clicking any link. We will also sign our names. If by chance you do get something that looks like it is from TLU IT that asks you to “confirm” your account or provide your credentials to continue using it, know that it is a hoax.
Thanks for staying vigilant and helping keep TLU secure!