The good news is that awareness is growing about the risks of email phishing attempts, making people wary of opening messages and clicking on links from unknown senders.
Unfortunately, this could cause some students at the University of Oregon to miss out on important communications intended specifically for them.
Phishing is a method of attempting to gather personal information through emails and websites. The Office of the Dean of Students, however, wants students to know that certain emails that might appear suspicious actually are official UO correspondence sent through third-party software, Maxient.
Maxient is a secure, web-based, case management application that is used to track behavior records at colleges and universities. Correspondence through Maxient can be related to conduct as well as other important, nonconduct notices.
The more than 100 Maxient users at the UO span multiple departments, including the Office of the Dean of Students, University Housing, Academic Advising and the Office of Investigations and Civil Rights Compliance.
“It’s important for students to know that this is an authentic email from the university,” said Jill Martineau, conduct and care coordinator with the Office of the Dean of Students. “It is not spam or a phishing attempt.”
Martineau said that when a student needs to be notified regarding the conduct process or other issues, they receive an email from “firstname.lastname@example.org.” The email will show the sender as a UO employee, with their name followed by “(via Maxient).”
In addition to a brief explanation, the body of the email will contain a link that takes the student to a Shibboleth login page. The student then logs in with their Duck ID username and password, to ensure confidentiality.
Once logged in to the Maxient portal, the student can access their notification letter, which will be a PDF document. Martineau advises students to print or download and save the letter for their records.
If students have difficulty accessing their letter in Maxient — or if they want to confirm the legitimacy of the email — they can contact the sending department that is listed in the signature of the message.