Spring 2005

Use your MTSU email to communicate with faculty

When students use commercial email accounts for communicating with faculty, it is possible that their messages will be caught by MTSU's spam software and not delivered. To avoid this risk, ITD recommends that students use their MTSU email accounts to correspond with their professors.

All students have Internet access to their MTSU email over using PipelineMT. Using of PipelineMT also increases the probability that a message will be delivered as expected. Once a message is sent using PipelineMT, it stays within the university's computer system and does not go onto the Internet.

Email scams can lead to identity theft

One of the biggest sources of spam right now is email that purports to be from banking firms, and it could make you vulnerable to identify theft.

The messages say that you must enter your personal information - your name, account name and/or number, your Social Security number, your credit card number, birth date, etc. The message says the information must be entered immediately or there will be some dire consequence, such as your account being suspended. The messages seem very legitimate. But they are not. Some also include a link to a Web site where you are told to enter your personal information. Never enter personal information into a Web site which you arrived at by a link. Never send personal information via email.

The biggest company names that are floating around cyberspace right now are CitiBank, SunTrust, Wells Fargo, PayPal, Washington Bank Mutual, and Smith Barney. Some of these email messages look very legitimate. They may include the company's logo, and it may be a business you already have an account with. Be very, very suspicious. Many company Web sites have information about email fraud, spoofing, and phisihing scams using their names. All the companies' responses have one thing in common. They advise that you should never enter personal information into a Web site which you didn't navigate to by typing the Web address. Among the newest scams are ones that take you not only to a server that will grab the personal information you enter but will also infect your computer with a virus and use your email address list to spread. There are many vulnerabilities in most Web browsers that allow hackers to make you think you are at one Web site, when, in fact, you are on their servers.

Here are some other tips for recognizing these types of emails.

  • The email message says you must enter the information or some negative action with befall you, like a charge, suspension of your account, or theft of your identity.
  • There might be spelling errors so that the email can pass undetected through spam filters.
  • The salutation may be very broad--such as Dear Member or Dear Account Holder. Generally, email messages from legitimate sources will greet you by name or account name.

Here are some things that companies say about legitimate email messages.

  • Wells Fargo will never send email containing attachments or require customers to send personal information via email or unsolicited pop-up windows.
  • PayPal says not to share personal information via email. PayPal will never ask you to enter your password or financial information in an email or send such information in an email.
  • SunTrust warms people to never provide personal or financial information to unsolicited email, phone, or pop-up Web site requests.

Now that you've identified a fraudulent email message in your inbox, what do you do about it?

  • Don't click on the link, even to see where it goes. Going to the Web site without entering personal information, could put you at risk for a computer virus.
  • You may forward fraudulent email to the company whose name is being used in the scam email. You can find information on where to send these messages by going to the company's Web site and looking for a link about fraudulent email. The link takes you to information about where to forward these messages.
  • You may forward the email to abuse@mtsu.edu. Keep in mind that if you forward the emails, you need to include full headers.
  • Delete the email. This is the safest (and quickest) course of action.

Verizon discount available for students

Verizon Wireless has contracted with MTSU to provide discounts on wireless telephone equipment, accessories, and monthly service to all MTSU students for personal wireless service. The discounts are as follows:

  • Free wireless feature (Mobile Web, Test Messaging, or Get Pix Text Messaging)
  • 25% off of wireless telephone accessories
  • Wireless telephone equipment at business prices
  • A one time $20 service credit after 2 months of service with a new 2 year activiation at a rate plan $45 or higher

An online Verizon Wireless storefront has been created for students