News from ITS: April 2019


In advance of the summer travel season, ITS provides tips to help spot phishing scams and to travel safely with your technology.

As the semester winds down, stay safe and secure. Follow the tips below to help you spot phishing scams no matter where you are and to travel safely with your technology this summer.


Watch for Phishing Scams

Got a minute? Are you available? Those are typical opening questions in a phishing scam frequently seen at U-M. Scammers send email that appears to come from your boss or a university office you work with asking for a favor—often the purchase of gift cards for an urgent situation. They take advantage of your willingness to be helpful.

  • Be suspicious of urgent, unfamiliar requests. Check with the apparent sender by phone call, chat, or in-person if you are at all unsure. Or send a separate email to the person's usual email address. Do not reply to the request itself.
  • Ignore requests for payment via gift card. "Anyone who demands payment by gift card is always, always, always a scammer," according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). "Gift cards are for gifts, not payments."
  • Verify unusual requests for money (via wire transfer, gift card, or other means) from your supervisor or leadership before acting.


Travel Safely with Technology

  • Require a password, passcode or PIN for access to your device, and set the screen to lock after 15 or fewer minutes of inactivity.
  • Turn on the app or feature that helps you find your device and/or erase its contents if it is lost or stolen.
  • Plan ahead for two-factor. If you will be away from your usual Duo two-factor option, set up an option in advance to use when traveling. See Traveling with Duo.
  • Always use a secure internet connection and turn off optional network connections (WiFi, Bluetooth) when you are not using them.
  • If you work with sensitive U-M data, follow these Instructions for Securing Your Devices and Data. Consider taking a loaner device that can be erased after your trip if your department offers this service. MiWorkspace users can contact Neighborhood IT through the ITS Service Center to request a loaner device.
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