Cybersecurity Safety During COVID-19

March 16, 2020 |


Listen to our Chief Information Security Officer, Michael Menne, speak about cybersecurity during COVID-19 on KMSU radio.

During events like the Coronavirus outbreak (COVID 19), cyber attackers often use these opportunities to, unfortunately, try to take advantage of the situation. We ask that you pay close attention to your emails & communications during this time. Cybercriminals may try to scam you, or launch phishing attacks that attempt to get you to click on malicious links or open infected email attachments. Here are some of the most common indicators that the phone call or email you may receive is probably a scam or attack:

  • Emails that end up in your junk mail often do not need to be opened. Only open an email in your junk mail if you were expecting a message.
  • Any messages that communicates a tremendous sense of urgency. The bad guys are trying to rush you into making a mistake.
  • Any message that pressures you into bypassing or ignoring our security policies and procedures.
  • Any message that promotes miracle cures, such as vaccines or medicine that will protect you. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Be very suspicious of any phone call or message that pretends to be an official or government organization urging you to take immediate action.  

Please keep in mind Coronavirus scams and attacks can happen at work or at home, via email, text messaging or even over the phone.

How to report a suspicious email at Minnesota State University, Mankato

  • Highlight the suspicious message in your inbox. Do not forward it.
  • Utilize the Report Message button on the right-hand side of the Home ribbon. If you do not see the Report Message button, please complete the following steps:
  1. Highlight the suspicious message in your inbox.
  2. Use the key combination (CONTROL)(ALT)(F) on a windows machine to create a new email that automatically attaches the suspicious email (this is important). View Mac and MavMail instructions
  3. Address the email to

Anytime you receive a suspicious email:

  • NEVER click on the links.
  • NEVER act on an email that asks for your login credentials.
  • ALWAYS report it immediately. Use the instructions above.

Beware - Fake Coronavirus Tracking Apps Pose Security Risk

During this time of uncertainty, some people have turned to coronavirus tracking apps to stay up to date with the spread of the virus. Unfortunately, some of these apps - both fake apps and legitimate apps - have malicious intent and have been linked to spying campaigns. One Android app in particular, called "corona live 1.1," has been discovered to be accessing user's devices, including photos, videos, camera, and location - even snapping photos and taking video and audio without the user's knowledge. This app is not the only one - others have been discovered as well. 

Please beware of apps before downloading. Do necessary research, read the terms and conditions, and monitor app permissions.

Read More

Read More Cybersecurity News

Stay up to date with the latest cybersecurity news, including new threats surrounding COVID-19, on our cybersecurity news feed. Read articles like:

Read More

Thank you. Your continued commitment to cyber safety will continue to keep you and our campus community safe.

Please visit the CyberAware website for more tips on how you can stay safe online.


Share this Article: