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How to protect yourself against cybercriminals as schools reopen

As schools prepare to reopen, it’s crucial to remain vigilant against the heightened threat posed by cybercriminals targeting teachers and students.

These malicious actors are actively exploiting the back-to-school period to launch attacks and other cyber threats.

Oliver from CyberNut sheds light on some of the most common phishing email scams targeting educational communities and provides insights on how to identify and thwart these malicious attempts.

“As phishing attacks continue to evolve in sophistication and prevalence, students and teachers must remain informed and proactive in safeguarding their personal and sensitive information. By staying vigilant, critically evaluating incoming emails, and following expert advice, you can mitigate the risks posed by phishing email scams and protect yourself from falling victim to cybercrime,” Oliver noted.

Phishing scams targeting educational institutions often take on various forms, each designed to exploit vulnerabilities and elicit sensitive information:

Fake Educational institution notifications

Cybercriminals impersonate educational institutions, sending fraudulent emails with urgent updates such as changes to academic schedules or account verification requests.

These emails may contain malicious links or attachments leading to phishing websites or malware downloads.

Scholarship and financial aid scams

Phishers prey on students’ financial concerns by promising lucrative scholarships or financial aid opportunities.

These emails request personal and financial information under the guise of processing applications, ultimately leading to identity theft or financial fraud.

False job opportunities

Scammers target students and teachers with enticing job offers or internship opportunities, requesting personal information for identity theft or financial fraud.

Tactics Employed by Scammers

Urgency and fear tactics: Phishing emails often create a sense of urgency or fear, pressuring recipients to act quickly without careful scrutiny.

Spoofed identities and domains

Cybercriminals mimic the branding and communication styles of legitimate educational institutions, making it challenging for recipients to discern the authenticity of the emails.

Social engineering ploys

Phishers exploit human behavior and emotions such as curiosity, trust, or greed to manipulate recipients into divulging sensitive information.

To protect yourself against such scams, you need to verify the sender’s identity, avoid opening email attachments from unknown or unexpected sources and always stay informed.

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