Exercise Caution Online

Technology Services would like to advise campus community members to remain vigilant for scams related to COVID-19. Cyber criminals are taking advantage of the fear and uncertainty surrounding this situation. As some faculty and staff may be working remotely, please keep in mind some best practices when doing so as well as the tools available to support your work. 

Scams to Beware of Include:

  • Phishing. You may receive phishing emails claiming to be from medical/health organizations providing information that instead link to fraudulent sites or contain attachments with malware. Be vigilant in examining the sender of the email. As always, avoid clicking links or attachments in unsolicited emails and do not reveal personal or financial information over email. 
  • Misinformation. Watch out for emails and social media postings from people claiming to be experts. Use trusted sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) websites, for up-to-date and factual information about COVID-19. Continue to visit pugetsound.edu/coronavirus for all university communications and guidelines about COVID-19. 
  • Malicious websites. There have been reports of certain malware-laden websites claiming to have live maps of global cases or other information about COVID-19. Please use extreme caution when visiting unknown websites especially while off-campus as malicious network traffic is unregulated on most home or public networks.
  • Fraudulent charities. Verify a charity's authenticity before making donations. Review the Federal Trade Commission's page on how to donate wisely. If someone requests donations via cash, gift card, or wire transfer, do not do it. 
  • Promotion of health products. According to the CDC, there are currently no vaccines, pills, prescription or over-the-counter products available to cure COVID-19. Exercise discretion when receiving promotion of products claiming to prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19.
  • Solicitation of funds regarding stimulus checks. Beware of scams related to the government economic impact payments. The government will not call you asking for any up front payment, social security number, bank account number, credit card number, etc. For more information, visit the IRS website
  • Fraudulent unemployment claims. The Employment Security Department (ESD) has noted a significant increase in fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits. If you believe a fraudulent claim has been filed under your name, please contact Human Resources immediately and consider taking additional steps outlined on the unemployment resources page.

 Tips for Working Remotely

  • Do not use public WiFi to conduct university business as it is possible for that network traffic to be eavesdropped upon. If you must work in a public location, use VPN or vDesk and note that your computer screen may be visible to others.
  • If you are using a personal computer, please do not save or download any work-related files onto your own computer as it may contain personally identifiable information (PII) or other sensitive information that may be subject to regulations. 
  • If you have questions about utilizing campus resources to work remotely, please call the Service Desk at 253.879.8585 (option 2). 

From the SANS Institute