NCTS - Security: Phishing

Phishing – What is it? What to do if you’ve been fooled?

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a method used by attackers to attempt to fool you into giving up valuable personal information, such as usernames, passwords, and bank accounts, by pretending to be someone you know and trust.

Recently, the College of Engineering has seen a rise in the number of these attempts. The messages have been even more sophisticated in recent months, with some masquerading as webmail notices from our own NCTS support staff.

Please be wary of any email that asks you to click on a link to login or email usernames and passwords. It is important to remember that neither the University, nor the College, will everask for any sensitive information to be returned in an email message, such as passwords, social security numbers, credit card numbers, and other highly confidential information.

Please review the video below to learn more about phishing scams and what to do if you think you’ve fallen for a phishing scam. Again, whenever you are asked for confidential information in an email or online, immediately become suspicious, then either delete the message or contact your local IT support for guidance.

What do I do if I think my Penn State Access Account has been compromised?

If you responded to a phishing scam using your Penn State Access Account or believe it has been compromised (meaning accessed by someone other than you), immediately visit to change your password. Remember to follow best password practices when creating a new password. For more information on how to create a secure password, visit our password resource page. If you use the same password across multiple accounts (i.e. financial institutions, social media sites, etc) it is highly advisable to change those passwords as well.

If you think you responded to a phishing scam with your Penn State credentials/your account has been compromised, you should also contact the ITS Accounts Office by phone at 814-865-4772 or in person at 204 Wagner Building. Hours of operation for the Accounts Office can be found at

What do I do if I think my College of Engineering Account has been compromised?

If you responded to a phishing scam using your COE account or believe it has been compromised, please alert the technical contact for your department immediately. Visit to change your password.  Again, use best practices when creating a new password.


Please see these additional resources on phishing:



The faculty and staff of Networking, Computing and Training Services are proud to be an organization within the College of Engineering’s Dean’s Office. This small but extremely dedicated assembly of personnel work in four groups that support the College’s educational, research, and administrative operations.

Networking, Computing & Training Services (NCTS)

149 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710