Watch out for phishing and scams during this time

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Hackers and cybercriminals often use current events as a basis for their attacks. Unfortunately, they are now leveraging the hype and fear around the Covid-19 pandemic to spread malware (malicious software), and steal passwords and data. Be on the lookout for Covid-19-related scams in emails, text messages, phone calls and on social media. The following tips can help protect you from these scams and attacks:

== When in doubt, throw it out. ==

o Avoid suspicious links and attachments in emails, tweets, posts, news stories and online advertising. Delete suspicious emails and/or click the spam button, as appropriate.

== Think before you act. ==

o Be wary of communications that implore you to act immediately, offer something that sounds too good to be true, or ask for personal information. “Special” offers claiming a coronavirus cure or offering free or low cost health insurance may be fraudulent.

o Only open files or attachments from trusted and expected sources. Malicious Covid-19 related documents and infection maps have already been used to compromise systems and spread malware.

o Verify a sender’s email address before clicking on email links or replying.

o Hover over links to see the real destination

== Use trusted sources. ==

o Stick to legitimate, trusted government websites or news sources for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19.

o Disinformation campaigns can spread discord, manipulate the public conversation, influence policy development, and/or disrupt markets.

o Covid-19 themed websites (website names that contain “corona,” “covid19”, or something similar) are 50% more likely to be malicious than other sites.