Skip Navigation

Phish Alert Button, Targets, & Examples

it header
OU homepage OU IT homepage

For Raising Buttons on Subpages

Skip Side Navigation
Cyber security students reviewing laptop with Aaron Baillio

Phish Alert Button, Targets, & Examples

Below are some examples of phishing emails we've seen incoming on campus. Never assume an email is safe, even if it is not listed here. Fraudulent emails come in many types and continuously change.

Phish Alert Button

An easy button for you to report suspicious emails to OU IT.

The Phish Alert Button (PAB) is an add-in for Microsoft Outlook.

The phishing hook icon for the phish alert button at KnowBe4.
The phishing hook icon for the phish alert button at knowBe4.

Your use of the button gives an early warning to the IT security team of possible phishing attacks and malicious emails. With your warning, the security team can take effective action to prevent security or network compromise.

In addition to protecting university data, removing malicious email from all inboxes, and receiving automatic messages, utilizing the Phish Alert Button counts toward your KnowBe4 Learner Dashboard score and badges. 

If you do not have the Phish Alert Button installed, please contact your tech support.


Due to the influx of new students and employees every year, the welcoming environment of campus, and the plethora of devices and applications, higher education is a target for cybercrime. Below are some of the most common schemes based on university culture. Remember to be cautious with your personal identity, even with legitmate sites, and always think before you click!

The University of Oklahoma-Norman is a comprehensive research university classified by the Carnegie Foundation in the highest tier of research universities in the nation (R1: Doctoral Universities—highest research activity). OU's dedication to increasing research means an increase in survey requests for studies. Below are some tips and red flags to help you determine if a research survey is legitimate.

  1. First, check to see where the email is coming from. 
    • Do you know the researcher? 
    • Are they from OU?
  2. Next, check if the email comes from a reputable site.
    • Search third-party sources to verify the site.
    • Some examples are Qualtrics and MTurk
  3. Generally, the email will state approval information from the IRB.
  4. Once you verify the legitimacy of the survey, check for a consent form.
    • The consent form should be the first page of a survey and state IRB approval there as well.
    • No consent form is a red flag.
  5. If the survey is coming from another institution, search for the named IRB's contact page and contact their IRB directly for verification. 

The Institutional Review Boards (IRB) for the OUHSC and OU-Norman campuses are responsible for reviewing research submissions that involve human subjects and assess that it adequately meets the criteria for approval set forth by the federal regulations, state law, and OU policies and procedures.

  1. If the survey appears to be an OU researcher and something doesn't look legitimate, it could be a spoofed email address.
  2. You can contact OU's IRB to confirm if it's a legitimate OU study.

Review the IRB's favorite links and FAQ

Students struggling to find an internship for degree credits, job experience, career trajectories, and especially survival, are perfect targets for cyber criminals. Below is a list of red flags for internships.

  1. The employer found you, i.e. unsolicited ads and emails.
  2. The employer is trying to get you to pay them first, to buy them gift cards, print checks, cash checks, or digitally send money with a promise to "pay you back" with your first check.
  3. They promise to pay you within 24 hours.
  4. Their company is based on an emotional cause and/or a sense of urgency.
  5. They are angry, impatient, and rude within minutes, to hours, of meeting you.
  6. The employer says they need to verfiy your identity, first. 
  7. The employer wants you to work in their home. 
  8. The pay seems to good to be true.
  9. The job description is vague or unrealistic.
  10. The employer asks you for a photo. 

Students who need internships can turn to OU's Career Services for guidance. OU Career Services is a one-stop shop dedicated to helping students and alumni with career preparation. From career fairs to personalized advising and everything in-between, Career Services exists to help get you hired - Sooner. 

Handshake is a career management platform that intuitively connects you to relevant job opportunities based on your profile, interests, and search activity.

Visit OU Career Services and Create a Handshake Account

Examples & Desk References

If you are unable to verify the sender in person or by other third-party means outside of email, the following modifiers can aid your verification research.

Using symbols and specific words in search engines can narrow down your search results. Review Google's Search Engine Modifier Guide to help verify the legitimacy of emails.