University Community Encouraged to Watch for Website Phishing Schemes

In an effort to educate our University community, Information Technology Services (ITS) wants to make you aware of the different types of phishing schemes that can adversely affect your electronic devices or potentially expose your personally identifiable information.

Phishing is an attempt by a person posing as a trustworthy entity in electronic communication to acquire information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details and, in some cases, money.

The Torch recently experienced a type of phishing incident on its website. The Torch staff is working with its vendor to remediate this issue. The Torch website is hosted independent of the and MyFSU websites. However, as a precaution, University Advancement and Marketing, in consultation with ITS, has temporarily removed all links to the Torch’s website from pages until the issues are resolved.

If you visited the Torch’s website, saw a pop up message that said your browser was out of date, and you allowed it to update your computer, you most likely had some malware installed that could allow for the compromise of your device and possibly data on it.

If you did this on a University computer, please contact the Technology Assistance Center so your device can be cleaned of the malware. If you clicked on the pop up using a personally-owned device, please bring your computer to Student Technology Services in Rankin Center (University Center) for help to remove the malware. There may be a fee for this service.


If you have any questions or concerns, call TAC at (231) 591-4822 or toll free at (877) 779-4822.

Here are some good tips for how to stay secure when browsing with your computer or other devices:


  • Think before you click. If you receive a suspicious email or browser screen pop ups, don’t click the links in the email or open file attachments from anything but 100-percent trusted sources. When in doubt, throw it out.
  • Check the URL. Get in the habit of looking at the address line. Does the address line display something different like "hxxp://" Be aware of where you are going.
  • Test Web links. VirusTotal is a free service that analyzes suspicious files and URLs and facilitates the quick detection of viruses, worms, Trojans and all kinds of malware.
  • Always go direct. The best thing you can do to avoid phishing scams is always go directly to the website you want to visit rather than clicking a link. Make it a habit to manually enter the address of any banking, shopping, auction or financial transaction website yourself and not depend on displayed links or links in email.
  • Make sure all your browsers are up to date.
  • Make sure your browser plug-ins are up to date. A free and great resource to check your browser’s plug-ins is the Browser Check from Qualys:
  • Utilize your browser's built-in tools. Most browsers come with some phishing protection built in to help protect you, but it isn't always enabled by default.


Thank you,

Ferris Information Technology Services

Last updated: 12-05-2014