From students, to students, via video: Beware of phishing

Last summer, Information and Educational Technology employees who were helping new students register their computers discovered that most new students had never heard of phishing. The scams are a common threat to personal security, so that discovery was troubling.

To help patch that hole, design students James Tang and James Kang have created a video for students that describes what phishing is, why it's a problem, and how to avoid it.

The video is the latest piece of IET's Protecting Privacy campaign, a year-long effort to help people on campus protect their personal information from thieves, hackers, spammers, and other electronic eavesdroppers. The first phase addresses phishing.

Phishing messages pretend to come from a legitimate source, such as UC Davis, and typically urge recipients to fix or avoid a "problem" by writing back with their password, log-in name, or both. That's the tell-tale sign of a phishing scam, because UC Davis never asks you to disclose your password by email or phone.

Tang, 24, and Kang, 22, graduate this year with bachelor's degrees in design. They worked with IET to create the video in winter quarter as part of an independent study project in the Design Program, Division of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies in the College of Letters and Science.