Tips for Internet Safety

April 2, 2020

***We all must be especially wary about questionable emails, links and text messages related to COVID-19. There has been a rise in the number of cyber scams exploiting the coronavirus, many specifically targeting those working from home. Always verify by phone any requests or links – even if the sender is familiar.***

Cyber Safety Best Practices for Working Remotely


By being vigilant, employees can take steps that will not only help protect their devices and home network but their company’s and colleagues’ devices and networks as well.


Cyber safety tips include:

  • Reset frequently used passwords, such as for your email account and router, every 3 months. Strong passwords are long, avoid common phrases and include a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters.
  • Double check URLs to ensure they make sense and match the domain of the company’s main site and look at the far left of the address bar for a padlock icon to indicate a secure connection.
  • Common signs of a phishing email are a sense of urgency (phrases like “click here to sign in now”), requests for wire transfers or personal data and uncharacteristic language or typos. Never trust links in emails, even if the rest of the email looks legitimate.
  • Keep your devices secure by always locking or logging off of your computer when you walk away from it, not using free or found USB drives and checking with your IT department before using any new devices on company laptops, phones, and tablets.

With the right information and a few extra simple steps, everyone can practice cyber safety.


Be aware of Scams!

Predatory solicitations will seek your personal information claiming it is needed for your eligibility to receive your federal stimulus checks or that the group relates to the 2020 Census or a fake charitable organization.

Be on the lookout for fraudulent:

  • emails
  • text messages
  • phone calls
  • social media posts

ALSO – the FDA and FTC confirmed that there are no “home test kits” or any recommended vaccines, drugs or investigational products currently available to treat or prevent the virus  available to the general public.


Tips on Avoiding Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phishing Scams

Here are some tips to help you keep the scammers at bay:

  • Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
  • Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying that have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores.
  • Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it. Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations. Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments.
  • Use trusted sources—such as legitimate, government websites—for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19.

Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.