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Protecting against spam malware and phishing threats

Fish in bowl

Your email inbox can be a dangerous place, emails which at first glance appear legitimate can in fact be spam, phishing or other online scam attempts. To stay protected you need to be alert to the possibility of scams and fraud in your inbox.

What kind of scam emails might I find in my Trinity inbox?

IT Services have invested in comprehensive anti-virus scanning systems to ensure that all email entering and leaving Trinity is scanned for known viruses and infected emails are quarantined or deleted where appropriate.

However, staff should remain vigilant and exercise caution particularly around attachments in emails. Unexpected attachments should be scanned with anti-virus software before they are opened as they could contain malware which could damage your computer or compromise your information.

Phishing

Lurking among the countless work and study related emails in your inbox are fraudulent ‘phishing’ emails waiting to catch you unawares and trick you into divulging your personal information or login details.

Scammers craft emails to look like they are coming from legitimate sources. You may receive emails pretending to be from your bank or from familiar Irish utility and phone companies.

It is important to remain vigilant, so watch out for an email that is unexpected, sent after business hours, or if you are replying from a mobile device where it may be harder to see the exact address of the sender or the links they are sending you to.

Trinity staff members may also receive phishing mails which specifically target their Trinity username and password. Recent examples of this include an email (see below) purporting to be from a Trinity staff member which asked to take action regarding the closure of your “mailbox account”.

example phishing email

If a staff member was to respond to this email and unwittingly provide their Trinity username and password they may then find that their own Trinity email account has been used to send spam or to "phish" others.

How can I identify a phishing email?

It is easy to be alarmed by a phishing email, they are designed to get us to act without question. To avoid these types of scams you need to be vigilant and cautious, always take your time and consider the validity of what you are being offered.

  1. Make sure you can confirm the identity of the company or individual with whom you are engaged in a transaction.
  2. You can always check the validity of official communications coming from IT Services which are on a secure section of our website, where you will be prompted for your username & password or directly with the IT Service Desk.
  3. Never provide sensitive personal information by email or at an unfamiliar website link provided in an email.

What should I do if I have fallen for a phishing scam?

If you think you have fallen prey to a phishing email, here are two things you can do immediately to protect yourself:

  1. Both students and staff who have responded to phishing emails should immediately change their passwords.
  2. Report the email to the IT Service Desk and let them know you have fallen victim to a phish.

More Information

To learn more about how to better equip yourself when confronted with a phishing message, please visit the Phishing and Fraudulent Messages section of the IT Services website.


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