In The Risks, we talked about social engineering. These con men (and women) are simply after information that will help them steal your identity and your assets. Knowing what sort of information they typically look for--and not giving them access to it--is all that it takes to defeat them.
Always be hesitant to give your social security number, even partially, to anyone and don’t be afraid to ask why they need it. Never give it in response to an e-mail, and don’t store social security numbers on your computer.
For more information about when it is appropriate to give your social security number to someone, please follow the Social Security link in our links section to the left.
There are other things like social security numbers you need to protect, like driver’s license, other governmental-issued I.D. numbers and bank account numbers--including credit card information. Keep those items secret: do not store them on your computer or give them to someone that calls you on the phone or sends you an e-mail.
And never give a password to anyone. Ever. Not even to your support personnel, a co-worker, or even your boss.
If you’re not sure an e-mail or a website is legitimate, ask your computer support personnel, such as the Computer Helpdesk or the staff at a computer lab. You won’t bother them--in fact, most enjoy finding bad websites and phishing e-mails so they can put a stop to them.
You can help us stop phishing at Oregon State University. While we block thousands of these attempts daily, some new ones always manage to get through. Information on how to safely get the right information from a phishing e-mail and provide that to the appropriate individuals so they can block it are provided in our links to the left under “Report an Incident.”