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Cyber security during coronavirus: Protect yourself online

The coronavirus has disrupted many aspects of daily life, and it’s changed many facets of how we live and work. As we rely more than ever on technology to communicate with friends, family, and loved ones, scammers will attempt to capitalize on the trust we have in online platforms. Criminals are taking advantage of the current environment by repurposing established cyber security scams to offer health information or safety resources while delivering malware or stealing personal information. You can protect yourself by learning how to spot them.

Recent cyber threats to watch out for:

A downloadable app for tracking coronavirus cases, which resembles maps created by legitimate public health institutions but contains malware that can infect or freeze devices.

Phishing scams, in which fraudulent emails that appear to come from the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control or charitable organizations and request personal information or urge recipients to click on malware-infected links.

Robocalls offering coronavirus treatments or assistance with government stimulus payments in which personal information is requested.

In the face of these cyber security threats, you can protect your personal information and devices by familiarizing yourself with how these scams work and following a few essential practices.

Be alert for the most common types of cybercrime attempts

How to proactively protect your personal information and devices

Only use wireless networks that are secured and require a password. Be sure to
change the password on your home router from the factory setting, and create a new
password that is at least eight characters long.

Restrict your use of all public Wi-Fi networks. If you must rely on a public network,
use a virtual private network (VPN).

Don’t fall for the bait and verify the URL of any site you visit, particularly if you are
loading it for the first time in your browser.

Don’t respond to emails from unknown senders or click on any links embedded in
these messages.

Verify messages even if you know the recipient. Cyber criminals use social
engineering to impersonate people you may know through email or social messaging.
Call the sender if you see anything suspicious in the message.

Keep your systems and software updated, as system and software updates ensure
that the latest security patches are installed on your devices.

If you’re a Bank of America customer, make sure your contact information is up to date and set
up security and account alerts so we can stay in touch. Remember, if we need to reach out to
you, we’ll never ask for personal or financial information or an access code through email, text,
or unsolicited calls.

Close Disclaimer

The material provided on this website is for informational use only and is not intended for financial, tax or investment advice. Bank of America and/or its affiliates, and Khan Academy, assume no liability for any loss or damage resulting from one’s reliance on the material provided. Please also note that such material is not updated regularly and that some of the information may not therefore be current. Consult with your own financial professional and tax advisor when making decisions regarding your financial situation.

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