Preserving Digital Health During COVID-19

digital health

WIth the COVID-19 pandemic upon us, practicing good personal hygiene is at the top of everyone’s mind. From washing our hands to sanitizing our groceries and even our credit cards, we’re all hoping to emerge from this crisis with a clean bill of health.

But what about our digital health? 

Like the coronavirus, digital scammers are finding ways to take advantage of unsuspecting victims. In fact, many are making use of the pandemic to prey upon our collective sense of urgency and even our sense of compassion. 

These phishing attacks often come in the form of an email or text that appears to be from a trusted source asking for help, but are actually from criminals attempting to trick you into divulging passwords or financial account numbers. With this information, scammers can withdraw funds from your financial accounts, commit identity theft, or masquerade as you on password-protected sites. 

Other phishing attacks — such as those from sources purporting to be from the IRS — will claim that you can get your economic impact payment faster by sending them your personal identifying information. Phishing emails typically warn of a sudden change to an account or make it sound as though others will suffer or be disappointed in you if you fail to act quickly.

Follow these tips to stay safe, now and always:

Do:

  • Look First. Phishing emails can sometimes be hard to spot. Educate yourself about common tactics and methods that scammers use.
  • Notice unusual or unprofessional formatting in messages. Legitimate organizations do not typically incorporate excessive punctuation, poor grammar or misspellings in the messages they send to clients.
  • Check the URL. Be certain that the site you are on is legitimate before entering your username and password, particularly if you were led to the site after clicking on it in an email or text.
  • If in doubt, check first. For any unexpected messages from known contacts, especially if there is a link, attachment, or money involved, reach out to that contact using another verified method (such as a phone call to a known number) to confirm the message's authenticity.

Don’t:

  • Don’t assume it’s real because it looks official. Do not assume the email is legitimate simply because it includes an official-looking graphic or seems to come from a legitimate email address. Email addresses can often be forged.
  • Don’t Engage. Do not engage with scammers if they phone you, even if you want to tell them that you know it’s a scam. Just hang up.
  • Don’t Share. Do not divulge any personal information unless you have verified the source is legitimate. When in doubt, opt out.