You may not realize it, but you are a phishing target at school, at work, and at home. Phishing attacks are a type of computer attack that use malicious emails to trick targets into giving up sensitive information. Ultimately, you are the most effective way to detect and stop phishing scams. When viewing email messages, texts, or social media posts, use the following techniques to prevent your passwords, personal data, or private information from being stolen by a phishing attack.
- Verify the source. Check the sender’s email address to make sure it’s legitimate. Remember that the name of the sender is not the important part. The sender’s email address is what you are really looking for. If in doubt, forward your message to email@example.com.
- Read the entire message carefully. Phishing messages may include a formal salutation, overly-friendly tone, grammatical errors, urgent requests, or gimmicks that do not match the normal tone of the sender.
- Avoid clicking on erroneous links. Even if you know the sender, be cautious of links and attachments in messages. Don’t click on links that could direct you to a bad website. Hovering your mouse over a link should disclose the actual web address that the link is directing you too, which may be different from what is displayed in the message. Make sure this masked address is a site you want to visit.
- Verify the intent of all attachments with the sender before opening them. Even when you know a sender, you should never open an attachment unless have checked with the sender to verify the attachment was sent intentionally. Word and Excel documents can contain malicious macros which could harm your computer. Other files, such as zip files and PDF files, could download malware onto your system. Always verify the intent of attachments with the sender before you open them from an email.
- Verifying a message is always better than responding to a phish. If you ever receive a message that provides reason to pause, it is always better to forward the message to firstname.lastname@example.org or to send a separate email to the sender to verify its intent, before clicking a link or opening an attachment that could potentially impact the security of your computer..
- Change your passwords if you have fallen for a phish. If you think you have fallen for a phishing attack, change your password at go/password and then contact the helpdesk at x2200. It is also a good practice to change your personal passwords outside of the College.
Watch for phishing scams. Common phishing scams are published at sites such as http://IC3.gov , http://phishing.org ,https://www.irs.gov/uac/Report-Phishing. These resources will also allow you to report phishing attacks if you should fall victim outside of the College. Again, if you think you have fallen victim to a phishing attack, always start by changing your passwords.
The Middlebury College Observatory, GIF-ified here by Special Collections Film Preservation Assistant Sam Cartwright, opened in 1937 and was torn down to make way for the construction of McCardell Bicentennial Hall. Read Sam’s blog post, Romance of the Skies to learn more. Then, get your celestial body to the new Middlebury College Observatory during one of their Open House Nights. The first is scheduled for Friday, May 29th from 9:00PM-10:30PM.
With a Middlebury College Observatory Open House Night scheduled for this Friday, May 29th from 9:00PM-10:30PM, we’re looking to the stars and sharing more astronomical history from the archives.
On June 16, 1808 a total eclipse of the sun cast a shadow across much of the northeastern United States, including the town of Mansfield, Connecticut. Known as “Tecumseh’s Eclipse” for the role it played in the Shawnee chief’s efforts to form a tribal confederacy, this astronomical event would have been visible to sixteen-year-old Mansfield native Samuel Mosely. Mosely went on to study at Middlebury College where in 1817, he made an annotated drawing of the eclipse with detailed notes on its timing and geometry:
After graduating in 1818, Mosely, like many early Middlebury graduates, became a missionary. He died in 1834 while working among the Choctaw Indians in Mississippi.
Monday, May 9th at 4:30 p.m. in Dana Auditorium please join us for this year’s Robert W. van de Velde, Jr. ’75 Memorial Lecture. Our speaker is Jeffrey Selingo who will give a talk, Higher Education: How the Press Shapes the Private Gains Over the Public Good. Book signing to follow lecture. His book is available in the bookstore.
Jeffrey J. Selingo has written about higher education for two decades. He is author of three books and a regular contributor to the Washington Post. His newest book, There Is Life After College (HarperCollins, 2016), explores how today’s young adults need to navigate school in order to succeed in the job market of tomorrow. His first book, College (Un)Bound, was aNew York Times bestselling education book. Jeff is the former editor of the Chronicle of Higher Education. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Slate, and he has appeared on ABC, CNN, PBS, and NPR. He is a special advisor and professor of practice at Arizona State University and a visiting scholar at the Center for 21st Century Universities at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Robert W. van de Velde, Jr. was a member of the Middlebury class of 1975. The Van de Velde memorial lecture series provides an annual talk on the confluence of public affairs-both foreign and domestic-and journalism, particularly broadcast journalism.
Join us on Wednesday, May 4th at 4:30 pm in Hillcrest 103 for John McWilliams’ lecture, “Last Manuscript” which will wrap up the Carol Rifelj Faculty Lecture Series for the 2015-2016 academic year.
We’re currently working on some back-end tasks, like integration between the Course Hub and Canvas, a tool to audit usage of plugins and themes across multiple WordPress installations, updating our RSS caching tool to work with newer versions of the PHP HttpRequest library, and the initial migration of the Davis program sites to Drupal 8.
Fixes and Tweaks
- We have updated the MiddSTART site, adding an index on several columns in the database which dramatically improves load time of the lists of donors from about 50 seconds to about five seconds.
- Removed a restriction on guest accounts, allowing them to log into the Course Hub, which creates a local account that instructors can then add to course sites for the purpose of granting them access to Canvas.
- The roll year in the Online Donor Roll was set to FY 2016 so that class agents and reunion committee members would properly appear.