Your Cybersecurity Checkup: 16 Tips for Better Protection Against Coronavirus and Other Scams

With warnings of increased cyber scams related to the Coronavirus and many people working at home, it’s a good time to remember the cybersecurity basics. Learn these 16 tips to help better protect yourself and your loved ones from scams.

Passwords and Email

Device Security 

  • Keep device software up-to-date - Software updates often include protection against recently discovered threats and new fixes for security vulnerabilities. It’s recommended to turn on software auto-updates for computers, smartphones, and tablets.
  • Consider antivirus software - Experts recommend installing an antivirus program and keeping it up to date. Also, consider using a website reputation rating tool, which can help warn about potentially dangerous websites.
  • Make a backup - It’s always a good idea to back up data, including information stored on your phone. Backup options may include an external hard drive or cloud storage.
  • Get apps from official sources - It’s best to download new apps from official sources, such as the Apple App Store or Google Play. Experts advise against downloading apps from third-party application sites, as they sometimes distribute malware.

Internet Use and Online Purchases 

  • Pay attention to URLs - Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate site, but sometimes the URL has a variation in spelling or a different domain, such as .net instead of .com. Don’t assume that a website is legitimate just because its URL starts with “https,” as criminals have been known to use encrypted sites.
  • Investigate further before making an online purchase - Before entering credit card information, do your homework to ensure that the website is secure and that the business or website is legitimate. Some options include looking for the SSL certificate, the About page, badge verification, and the privacy policy.
  • Guard personal and financial information - It’s advised to never provide a username, password, date of birth, Social Security number, financial data, or other personal information in response to an email or robocall. Do not respond to email solicitations for personal or financial information, including following links sent in email.

Financial Transactions

  • Keep track of financial transactions - Monitor credit statements monthly for any fraudulent activity. Report unauthorized transactions to the bank or credit card company as soon as possible.
  • Review credit reports annually - Experts recommend that individuals review a copy of their credit report at least once a year to look for any unexpected activity, which could be a sign of potential fraud.
  • Dispose of financial documents securely - Never throw away credit card or bank statements in a usable form, such as by putting them directly into the trash or recycling bin. The FTC recommends disposing of sensitive data by shredding it first.

Working from Home

If You Believe You Have Been a Victim of a Cybercrime

If you believe you have been the victim of an Internet scam or cyber crime or to report suspicious activity, visit the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at

Additional Resources