The University of Wisconsin System is implementing a phishing awareness education program, similar to programs taking place at other large universities around the country. In this program simulated phishing emails will be periodically sent to all UW faculty and staff.  The first of these emails will be sent the week of January 29th.

The email messages will mimic a real phishing threat. If a recipient clicks on a link contained within a simulated phishing email message they will be routed to a webpage which alerts them to the fact that they have been successfully phished, in a controlled and safe environment. The webpage will provide a brief explanation of what they should have noticed in the phishing email to indicate that it was not genuine. If you receive the phishing email do not click the links. Simply delete the message.

Please be assured, if you are tricked into clicking in the phishing test, no action will be taken against you, and individual results will be kept confidential. UW System Administration, campus CIOs, and campus Information Security Officers will be tracking aggregated statistics to evaluate the effectiveness of the phishing education program. The results of this test will influence the design of security awareness training materials, including future UW System phishing campaigns. This phishing program is expected to run throughout the year.

To protect yourself from phishing scams, keep the following in mind:

  • If you are suspicious about a message from someone you know call them to verify if it was truly them that sent it.
  • Be suspicious of any email directed to “Dear Customer” or other generic salutations.
  • Phishing emails often requires “immediate action”.
  • Be suspicious of messages that have grammar or spelling mistakes.
  • Before you click on a link “hover” your mouse over it. This will display the true destination of the link.

Thank you for participating in this program and for helping to keep our information safe!