Phishing (Scam emails looking for confidential information)

To paraphrase the definition, phishing is when a person tries to obtain confidential information from Internet users, usually through an email that appears legitmate, but contains a link to a fake website that replicates the real one. From time to time, ITS receives reports about these sorts of scam emails. If you have received such an email, please mark it as spam and delete it. If you have given any personal information, such as your username and password, please take this opportunity to change your password immediately:

  • To change your password from an on campus, Windows computer, simply select Ctrl-Alt-Delete and click the Change Password button.
  • To change your password from off campus or on a Mac, please use the following site and select the change your password link on the right side of the web page under the Contact Us tab.
  • To change your email password, go to the top right of your email window, click on your user name, choose Account settings, and click on change password in the security section (view video tutorial here).

For future reference, we will never ask you for your user name and password via email.  You can also spot these scams as they are rarely from an individual; they are usually from some generic name like ‘Augustana College’ or ‘Augustana Web Team’.  For the most part, when we send email out to our users, they’ll come from an individual or, not some generic account.

Useful tips to avoid becoming a victim of a phishing scam:

  • If the email has an address, check to see if it has our security watermark (read this tech tip for more info)
  • Be suspicious of any email with urgent requests for  personal financial information
  • Don’t use the links in an email to get to any web  page, if you suspect the message might not be authentic
  • Avoid filling out forms in email messages that ask  for personal financial information
  • Always ensure that you’re using a secure website  when submitting credit card or other sensitive information  via your Web browser
  • Regularly log into your online accounts
  • Regularly check your bank, credit and debit card  statements to ensure that all transactions are legitimate
  • Ensure that your browser is up to date and security  patches applied
  • Always report “phishing” or “spoofed” e-mails

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact the helpdesk at

About Kristina Zimmerman

Kristina Zimmerman is an ITS Support Specialist at Augustana College. Her main duties are training, software support, and general Mac support. To contact Kristina, send email to
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