Fraud, Spam & Malware

There are many different kinds of fraud, spam, malware, and other scams that can be brought to your computer through email. Do not reply to any emails requesting password information. Most companies will never ask you in an email to follow a link and input personal information. If you think it may be a legitimate issue, do not follow the link in the email; instead, open a browser window, navigate to the company's site, and login there to see if it says anything about needing information. Phishing websites can look identical to real websites except for tiny differences in the URL that you may or may not notice. As a general rule never use links in an email to login to a website.


Scammers are getting ever-better at seeming believable. Tips to protect yourself:

1.    DO NOT respond to any suspicious email by clicking on links or filling out forms with personal or financial information.

2.    NEVER reply to an unsolicited e-mail that asks for your personal information, including requests for Nazareth University username, passwords, Social Security number, or credit card. Nazareth University will never request personal information via email.

3.    BE WARY of messages with suspicious, misspelled, or awkward language like “Webmail Exceeded Limit” or “Webmail Quota Warning.” These don’t exist at Nazareth.

4.    BE WARY of messages that refer to non-existent Nazareth departments like “University Webmail Support” or the “Webmail Messaging Center.”

5.    DELETE these phishing attempts from your Inbox and your Deleted Items folder to avoid accidentally clicking on the websites within the bogus email.

6.    BE CAUTIOUS about sending sensitive information over the Internet if you’re not confident about the security of the website.

7.    If the email is related to a JOB OR INTERNSHIP, check with your career coach in the Center for Life’s Work.  They can help you verify legitimacy! See these CFLW tips: Avoiding fraudulent opportunities.

How to report phish emails:  

If you receive an email that you suspect is a phish or you have responded to a phishing email, change your password immediately and call the IT Service Desk 585-389-2111 or via email at to report malicious email.

What do I do if my personal information has been compromised?

  1. Change your passwords.
  2. Watch your accounts; check your credit reports.
  3. Consider identity theft protection services. 
  4. Freeze your credit. 
  5. Go to

Unsolicited bulk e-mail is commonly called Spam. Many companies will send junk mail to your e-mail address with offers of unbelievable value or to advertise a service. It is best to simply ignore and delete spam, because replying to it will only confirm to the spammer that your e-mail address is valid.


Many companies, in an attempt to profile customers' purchasing habits, will install software on your computer to track Internet surfing or other activities. Read the End User License Agreement (EULA) before checking "I accept" when downloading.

Peer-to-peer file sharing programs, screensavers, and games are commonly bundled with spyware in an attempt to get something from you for the "free" software.

If you find that your computer is running slowly, or is displaying an unusually high number of popup advertisements, you may be infected with spyware.

Several commercial products exist to remove spyware; however, three free tools are recommended by Nazareth ITS: Spybot, AdAware, and Microsoft Windows Defender.

By running scans through all three programs on a regular basis, you can safely and effectively remove many spyware applications.

Trojan Horse

A Trojan horse is a virus that claims to perform a desirable function, like a "cool new screen saver" or "speed up your computer," but is actually a virus.


A virus is a malicious computer program, often spread through e-mail or through a network. Viruses replicate themselves and infect your computer, causing much damage and annoyance.

You can protect yourself from viruses by installing and keeping up-to-date an Antivirus software package such as Norton, McAfee, Symantec, AVG, or Panda.

Nazareth University provides free Symantec Antivirus software to all residential students.


A worm is a self replicating computer virus that travels through security holes in networks and operating systems.

Two-Factor Authentication

To protect your Google account credentials from being compromised, consider using two-step authentication on your Nazareth Google account.

peckham lab

Have Questions?

Contact the Technology and Media Service Desk: