Be Suspicious and Aware

Although cynical, it is best to not trust unsolicited emails and/or appointments that you receive. This is not to suggest that you can't trust every email and appointment you receive, but if you get something that doesn't seem right, don't trust it.

Be aware that attacker know what types of major events occur during particular seasons or times of year. During tax season, phishing attacks and vishing attacks spoofing the IRS are common. Sale offer spoofs increase during the holidays, etc. Just know that the criminals are becoming more and more knowledgeable about how to attach you!


If you have received an email or appointment that makes you suspicious, the quickest and easiest way to verify its authenticity is to contact your Computing Coordinator or our IT Helpdesk (541-552-6900). The IT Department has the tools to do this quickly, and asking them to verify it for you can save you from the aggravation of dealing with suspicious communications on your own.

Other methods:

  • Check the real site. For things like Facebook Friend requests or LinkedIn connection requests, goto to the real site and see if the request is in your notifications. For offers, many reputable retailers have a section of their site where they list promotions. Check to see if the offer exists on the real site.
  • Check your calendar. For appointments in your SOU email. If they are real appointments, there should be an entry for the date/time on your Google Calendar. Does it exist there? If not, it's not worth clicking on.

Protect Yourself

If you are dealing with suspicious activity on your own computing device or do not have access to help, there are some free tools you can use to protect yourself. One of these free tools is named, "Malware Bytes" ( Malware Bytes is quick to install, and it will scan your computer for malware. It will allow you to either quarantine any malware that it finds, or it will allow you to remove it. The free version of Malware Bytes is NOT a real-time scanner. It is effective for scanning your computer to find existing malware.