COVID-19 Cyber Attacks – How to Avoid Getting Scammed
As people around the world focus on the threat caused by COVID-19, cybercriminals are racing to take advantage of our fears and our desire for information. Phishing emails and malicious websites are promising information about and protection from the outbreak, while spreading malware and stealing login credentials and credit card details.
Emails and websites are promising everything from real-time maps of infection rates, to advice on how to prevent infection, to information about a vaccine, to ways to donate to charitable organizations to raise money for victims. We must stay on our toes, because many of these attacks appear to come from legitimate sources including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and well-known charities.
Protect yourself and your data by following these steps:
- Don’t open emails, download attachments, or click links sent from unknown or untrusted sources.
- Instead of clicking a link in an email or on a website, type the name of the site you want to visit in your browser, and navigate to it directly.
- Before you open an unexpected attachment, call the sender and verify that it is legitimate.
- Treat emails written with a sense of urgency and requesting an immediate response as suspicious.
- Use Anti-Virus Software and firewalls, and manually scan any file before opening it – including email attachments and files downloaded from the Internet or housed on USB drives.
- Keep your system, browsers, and software up-to-date.
To learn about recent vulnerabilities or to report a cyberattack, visit the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) website.
Data Security and WSIPC
WSIPC participates with the following resources, among others, to stay informed and engaged:
- Student Data Privacy Consortium (SDPC) – a national alliance of states, districts, vendors and policy makers. WSIPC has been part of this organization since its inception.
- National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) – a multi-state forum operated by the US Department of Education.
- Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) – a nonprofit organization that serves as a catalyst for advancing principled data practices and fostering privacy leadership and scholarship.
Student data privacy is a top concern for WSIPC, and we will continue to do our utmost to ensure that your data is protected. To learn about WSIPC’s security policies and practices, see our Data Privacy page on our website, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425.349.6600.
WSIPC is a non-profit public agency that provides technology solutions (including Qmlativ), services, and support to K-12 schools. WSIPC’s purpose is to help schools do more with every dollar and to empower them with the tools to work smarter. To learn how your district can become part of the WSIPC Cooperative, contact us at email@example.com or 425.349.6600.
WSIPC. Inspired by education. Empowered by technology.TM