Skip to main content

Email-borne threats - don’t take the bait

Each day, tens of thousands of people are lured into running malware or providing sensitive information like banking details and passwords to scammers. Phishing emails may masquerade as originating from a trustworthy source and may ask you to open an attachment, follow a link or reply with personal information. The people who create these emails use fear tactics and often urge the recipient to act promptly.

Every day an estimated 190,000,000,000 emails are sent, of which 1 in 220 contain malware and 1 in 1,846 are phishing. Here’s some advice to help keep you from taking the bait:

  • Read carefully before acting. Phishy messages may include a formal greeting, overly-friendly tone, grammatical errors or an urgent request.
  • Exercise caution when opening links and attachments. Hover over any links to make sure they’re legitimate. If you’re not sure that the attachment or link is legitimate, contact the IT Services Help Desk: helpdesk@warwick.ac.uk.
  • Verify the source. Check the sender’s e-mail address when you receive an email and when you reply. Malicious actors might be able to spoof the FROM address in an email to make it look like it came from someone you know, but when you reply the address changes. If in doubt, type in the address manually.
  • Report it. Report anything suspicious to the IT Services Help Desk, including any links or attachments you’ve clicked on.

For more information and advice, see: warwick.ac.uk/phishing

Figures sourced from Symantec Internet Security Threat Report – Volume 21, April 2016.

Email icon 190 billion
emails sent every day
Biohazard icon 860 million+
contain malware
Biohazard icon 100 million+
are "phishing" emails