Skip to Main Content
My Library Banner

How do I: Avoid Online Threats

This guide covers Information, Media, and Digital Literacy concepts and Digital Citizenship for Gr. 9-12 students, as well as teacher and parents.

Avoid Online Threats

Photo Credit: Intel Free Press, licensed under Creative Commons

How cyber-savvy are you?

What's next?

Watch out, this could happen to you!

What does clickjacking look like on social media?

Clickjacking uses catchy headlines like "find out who's looking at your profile" to get you to cut and paste a link into your browser which then infects your computer and spreads the spam to your contact list.

Source: Get Cyber Safe, Social Networks

What is pharming?

Pharming is a form of online fraud which directs you to a malicious or illegitimate website by redirecting the legitimate url.


Get the Facts:

  • Pharming scam can happen to you when a url is redirected to an illegitimate website, or through a direct system attack.
  • The url of the site that you are directed can look legitimate, therefore be cautious if a site that is familiar to you looks very differnent from what you remember.
  • One indication that the site may be illegitimate is the url is preceeded by http:// opposed to https://.  Scammers are less able to hijack secure versions of a website. 
  • In a direct system attack, scammers can use the credentials associated with the factory default setting of home routers or firewalls.  It is important to reset these credentials when they are purchased.

Source: Eastern Michigan University, Pharming

How can I spot a phish?

Phishing messages tend to have general characteristics that should alert you, including:

  • Sense of Urgency - the message conveys a reason why you need to act quickly.
  • Forged Link - a link may have a name of a known organization, but not belong to them.
  • Requests for Personal Information - the message will attempt to trick you into providing personal information by appearing to be authentic.
  • Generic Greetings or Signatures - the message are generally sent to hundreds of people at a time which makes them somewhat generic.  Spear Phishing is an exception.
  • Errors, Typos, and Inaccurate Names - the messages often include grammatical errors, misspelled words, or other inaccuracies.

What is the difference between Phishing & Spear Phishing?

  • Phishing - is an attempt to steal your personal information using a fraudulent email asking for information such as usernames, passwords, social security numbers, birth dates, etc.  These emails typically look authentic and contain a link to an official looking website that asks the user to login.
  • Spear Phishing - goes further than regular phishing.  It targets you specifically as cyber-criminals use information about you, found on public forums like Facebook, and customize the phishing email to you.

Source: Eastern Michigan University, Think before you Click! Avoid phishing attacks!

What is Vishing?

Vishing is voice phishing, a technique used by scammers to gain personal information from someone using Voice Over Internet Protocol (VolP).  Read more at Get Cyber Safe.

Be careful if you do these activities!

See this issue in the news: