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 ever ask 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 have 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. 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 to new, unique passwords as well.

If you are unable to change your Penn State password or need assistance in doing so, please contact the IT Service Desk by phone at 814-865-HELP (4357) or visit them in person at 204 Wagner Building or W130 Pattee Library. More information about the IT Service Desk may be found on their website 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 IT staff 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