Skip to main content

Fraud, Spam and Malware

There are many different kinds of Fraud, Scams and Malware that can be brought to your computer through email. Remember it is always important to not reply any email requesting password information. Also most companies will never ask you in an email to follow a link and input personal information. If you think it may be a legitimate issue, do no follow a link in an email instead open a browser window navigate to the companies site, login there and see if it says anything about needing information. Phishing websites can look identical to real websites except for tiny differences in the url that you may or may not notice. As a general rule never use links in an email to login to a website.


Phishing is a type of social engineering attack designed to convince a user to give up confidential personal information. Phishing attacks usually come through e-mail and are created to look like authentic e-mails from companies such as eBay or various banks. They usually ask you to fill out a form to "verify your information." The attacker then uses this information to steal a victim's identity. If you have questions about a suspicious e-mail, you may forward that e-mail to or call ITS at x2111


Unsolicited bulk e-mail is commonly called Spam. Many companies will send junk mail to your e-mail address with offers of unbelievable value or to advertise a service. It is best to simply ignore and delete spam, because replying to it will only confirm to the spammer that your e-mail address is valid.


Many companies, in an attempt to profile customers' purchasing habits, will install software on your computer to track Internet surfing or other activities. Read the End User License Agreement (EULA) before checking "I accept" when downloading. Peer-to-peer file sharing programs, screensavers, and games are commonly bundled with spyware in an attempt to pay for the "free" software. If you find that your computer is running slowly, or is displaying an unusually high number of popup advertisements, you may be infected with Spyware. Several commercial products exist to remove it; however three free tools are recommended by ITS. They are Spybot, AdAware, and Microsoft Windows Defender. By running scans through all three programs on a regular basis, you can safely and effectively remove many spyware applications.

Trojan Horse

A Trojan Horse is a virus that originally appears to perform a desirable function, like a "cool new screen saver" which is actually a virus, or "Speed your computer of now with program A" that could also be a virus.


A virus is a malicious computer program, often spread through e-mail or through a network. Viruses replicate themselves and infect your computer, causing much damage and annoyance. You can protect yourself from viruses by installing and keeping up-to-date an Antivirus software package such as Norton, McAfee, Symantec, AVG, or Panda. Nazareth College provides free Symantec Antivirus software to all residential students.


A worm is a self replicating computer virus, that travels through security holes in networks and operating systems.


Personal tools