For Your Benefit

Master’s in Business and M.B.A. Preview on October 11

Join the School of Business Administration for a half-day information session on Saturday, October 11, at 9 a.m. at the Newman Alumni Center, 6200 San Amaro Drive, Coral Gables campus. Learn about the school’s master’s programs in accounting, business analytics, economics, finance, international business, and taxation. Talk one-on-one with current graduate students about their experience, and meet the graduate business admissions team. Learn about the Ziff Graduate Career Services Center, which is dedicated to graduate business students, and take advantage of the opportunity to network. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. To register for the event, visit www.bus.miami.edu/graduateprograms.

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National Cybersecurity Awareness Month: How to Protect Yourself from Phishing Email Scams

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) is an opportunity to engage and inform the community about cybersecurity in order to create a safer, more secure, and more resilient cyber environment. This year marks the 11th anniversary of NCSAM, sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance.

During the month of October, the University of Miami Information Technology (UMIT) department will be sharing important information, tips, and resources that will focus on different cybersecurity issues, including cyber crime, mobility, and online safety.

This week, UMIT focuses on phishing email scams. At times, these malicious emails appear to look official—as if they are coming from a University source—while at other times, they contain completely generic content. Phishing emails are effectively created to elicit curiosity and encourage individuals to click on Web links hosted at malicious sites. A best practice would be to never click on Web links embedded in the body of an email when you are unsure of the sender’s identity.

What are “phishing” emails?
The most common forms of phishing are emails pretending to be from a legitimate retailer, bank, organization, or government agency. The sender asks you to “confirm” your personal information for some made-up reason: your account is about to be closed, an order for something has been placed in your name, or your information has been lost because of a computer problem. Another tactic phishers use is to say they’re from the fraud departments of well-known companies and ask you to verify your information because they suspect you may be a victim of identity theft. In one case, a phisher claimed to be from a state lottery commission and requested people’s banking information to deposit their “winnings” in their accounts.

Here’s what you should do to protect yourself from email phishing:

• Never click on links within emails
Fraudsters use these links to lure people to phony websites that look just like the real sites of the company, organization, or agency they’re impersonating. If you follow the instructions and enter your personal information on the website, you’ll deliver it directly into the hands of identity thieves. To check whether the message is really from the company or agency, call it directly or go to its website (use a search engine to find it).

• Beware of “pharming”
In this latest version of online ID theft, a virus or malicious program is secretly planted in your computer and hijacks your Web browser. When you type in the address of a legitimate website, you’re taken to a fake copy of the site without realizing it. Any personal information you provide at the phony site, such as your password or account number, can be stolen and fraudulently used.

• Never enter your personal information in a pop-up screen
Sometimes a phisher will direct you to a real company, organization, or agency’s website, but then an unauthorized pop-up screen created by the scammer will appear, with blanks in which to provide your personal information. If you fill it in, your information will go to the phisher. Legitimate companies, agencies, and organizations don’t ask for personal information via pop-up screens. Install pop-up blocking software to help prevent this type of phishing attack.

• Protect your computer with spam filters, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a firewall, and keep them up to date
A spam filter can help reduce the number of phishing emails you get. Anti-virus software, which scans incoming messages for troublesome files, and anti-spyware software, which looks for programs that have been installed on your computer and track your online activities without your knowledge, can protect you against pharming and other techniques that phishers use. Firewalls prevent hackers and unauthorized communications from entering your computer—which is especially important if you have a broadband connection because your computer is open to the Internet whenever it’s turned on. Look for programs that offer automatic updates and take advantage of free patches that manufacturers offer to fix newly discovered problems. Go to www.onguardonline.gov and www.staysafeonline.org to learn more about how to keep your computer secure. If in doubt, contact your system administrators to confirm your workstation is equipped with appropriate safeguards.

 Open email attachments only if you’re expecting them and know what they contain
Even if the messages look like they came from people you know, they could be from scammers and contain programs that will steal your personal information.

• Know that phishing can also happen by phone
You may get a call from someone pretending to be from a company or government agency, making the same kinds of false claims and asking for your personal information.

• If someone contacts you and says you’ve been a victim of fraud, verify the person’s identity before you provide any personal information
Legitimate credit card issuers and other companies may contact you if there is an unusual pattern indicating that someone else might be using one of your accounts. But usually they only ask if you made particular transactions; they don’t request your account number or other personal information. Law enforcement agencies might also contact you if you’ve been the victim of fraud. To be on the safe side, ask for the person’s name, the name of the agency or company, the telephone number, and the address. Get the main number from the phonebook, the Internet, or directory assistance, then call to find out if the person is legitimate.

• Job seekers should also be careful
Some phishers target people who list themselves on job search sites. Pretending to be potential employers, they ask for your social security number and other personal information. Follow the advice above and verify the person’s identity before providing any personal information.

• Be suspicious if someone contacts you unexpectedly and asks for your personal information
It’s hard to tell whether something is legitimate by looking at an email or a website, or talking to someone on the phone. But if you’re contacted out of the blue and asked for your personal information, it’s a warning sign that something is “phishy.” Legitimate companies and agencies don’t operate that way.

• Act immediately if you’ve been hooked by a phisher
If you provided account numbers, PINs, or passwords to a phisher, notify your system administrator immediately. For information about how to put a “fraud alert” on your files at the credit reporting bureaus and other advice for ID theft victims, contact the Federal Trade Commission’s ID Theft Clearinghouse, www.consumer.gov/idtheft or 877-438-4338, TDD (202) 326-2502.

• Report phishing, whether you’re a victim or not
Alert your system administrator or agency that the phisher was impersonating. You can also report the problem to law enforcement agencies through NCL’s Fraud Center, www.fraud.org. The information you provide helps to stop identity theft.

Cybersecurity begins with a simple message everyone using the Internet can adopt: Stop, Think, Connect. Take security and safety precautions, understand the consequences of your actions and behaviors online, and enjoy the benefits of the Internet.

To learn more, and for tips on how to protect yourself from phishing, please contact UMIT Security at ciso@miami.edu.

If you suspect you may be a victim of phishing, please contact the UMIT Service Desk immediately:

  • Coral Gables/RSMAS campuses: 305-284-6565, itsupportcenter@miami.edu
  • Miller School of Medicine campus: 305-243-5999, help@med.miami.edu


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Office of Research Administration Quarterly Meetings on Two Campuses October 7

University of Miami faculty, administrators, and staff members are invited to attend an Office of Research Administration (ORA) quarterly meeting. These meetings enable the UM research community to learn more about policy, procedural, and process changes relevant to research administration. Meetings will be held on both the Coral Gables and Miller School of Medicine campuses on Tuesday, October 7. Individuals are encouraged to attend one of the sessions. For information about meeting times and agenda items, please visit the ORA website.  Registration for the meeting is through ULearn.

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Buy Raffle Tickets for Great Prizes or Purchase a ‘Spooktacular Candy Gram’ during Sylvester’s United Way Fundraising Drive

From raffles to candy grams, the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center research team has come up with some “Spooktacular” ways to help raise money for the United Way of Miami-Dade.

Hotel accommodations, dinners, and yoga and gym packages are just some of the prizes that will be awarded during two raffle drawings on Friday, November 21. To purchase raffle tickets, email amdojnia@med.miami.edu, call 305-243-4889, or stop by the Clinical Research Building, Room 1542.Ticket prices vary depending on the category of prizes.

The Sylvester research team’s “Spooktacular Candy Gram” distribution takes place on Halloween Friday, October 31. Send Spooktacular Candy Grams to friends, colleagues, or that person down the hall or in the cube next door. Each Spooktacular Candy Gram is $1, so bring your list to CRB 1542 or email amdojnia@med.miami.edu. Please have the building and room number for each recipient ready at the time of purchase.

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Open Enrollment Begins October 13

Open Enrollment begins October 13 and runs through October 31. This is your annual opportunity to review, enroll in, or make changes to your medical, dental, flexible spending, and disability benefits. If you are currently participating in the University’s medical plan, please remember that your medical plan elections do not roll over. You must either elect or decline medical coverage for 2015 as well as confirm your smokers’ and spousal surcharge elections during Open Enrollment. If you do not, you and your covered dependents will be placed in the Aetna HRA option, and the increased smokers’ and spousal surcharges will apply for 2015.

Please visit the Open Enrollment website for more information about your 2015 benefits, the open enrollment process, and to review the webcast and live information sessions schedule. And don’t forget to mark your calendars to visit the Benefits Fair featuring a Workday preview, a glimpse at the new Career and Compensation program, benefits vendors, giveaways, free chair massages, flu shots, and more. Click here to view the complete schedule.

This is also a great time to review your retirement savings. If you are a participant in the Faculty Retirement Plan or the Employees’ Retirement Plan, Open Enrollment is the perfect time to begin or increase your voluntary contributions, in addition to what the University is contributing, to help secure your financial wellness. If you are in the Retirement Savings Plan, you could be missing out on free money if you’re contributing less than 5 percent to the plan. Visit netbenefits.com/um or call 1-800-642-7131 to get started. You can receive personalized assistance in person or by phone. It’s never too early or too late to get started.

If you have any questions about your ’Canes Total Rewards or the Open Enrollment process, please contact HR-Benefits at 305-284-3004 or miami.edu/benefits/ask.


Posted in Benefits, For Your Benefit, InsideUM, NewsComments (0)

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