Technology Security

It's important to safeguard your personal computers, mobile phones, tablets, and other devices.

Computer Best Practices

  • Perform regular operating system, software, and app updates. These updates often include security patches.
  • Install antivirus and antispyware software. Also consider anti-malware.
  • Upgrade to the latest version of your browser and take advantage of the security features available.
    • Some browser security features include site pinning, safe browsing, and auto updates. These features can protect against phishing and malware attacks.
    • Investigate the built-in security features on your mobile devices.
    • Learn more about security features in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome.


Coronavirus Phishing Scams

In times of crisis, opportunistic individuals sometimes take advantage of these topics to play into fears, uncertainties, and doubts and attempt to get people to do things they normally might not do.

You might see websites or links shared that claim to have more information on coronavirus, or suggest people you know have been infected, all in an attempt to get you to click on something malicious.

Here are some suggestions from MSU IT and the Federal Trade Commission:

  • When receiving emails, please look carefully at who it comes from.
  • If the material seems suspicious but is from a recognizable name, call the person to verify before clicking on links.
  • Websites claiming to be a map of virus locations are a common hoax.
  • Beware of scams related to selling fake products, and fabricated emails, texts and social media posts used to steal money and personal information.
  • Watch for emails and posts promoting awareness and prevention tips but also asking for donations to victims and providing advice on unproven treatments.
  • Be alert to scam “investment opportunities.”
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations.

Some of the most common scams are described below. It is best to rely on official government and other reputable websites for information. Follow university updates and information at

Fraudulent Cures and Treatment

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), "There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)—online or in stores." Any website or email that claims otherwise is a scam.

Fake Charities

If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it. See the FTC's How to donate wisely and avoid charity scams.


Beware of emails and social media postings that claim to be from experts. For the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).


The U.S. Secret Service has reported a number of phishing scams related to the virus. People may receive a phishing email claiming to be from a medical/health organization that links to fraudulent sites where people are asked to enter their email, password, and other identity information. These attachments contain malware.

Tracking Maps with Malware

Attackers are circulating links to malicious websites disguised as COVID-19 maps on social media and through misleading emails. When you visit one of these sites, you may be prompted to install an applet. The applet then infects your device with malware that steals data, such as login credentials and banking information. Do not install unknown apps and applets. Stick to verified COVID-19 tracking maps (like this one from Bing) and double-check the URL of linked websites before clicking.



MSU IT continuously works to keep the community safe and connected, but sound cybersecurity practices are everyone’s responsibility. Educate yourself on safe computing, data care, and other information security resources at

Please report security incidents and forward suspicious emails targeting the MSU community to Contact MSU IT for questions or concerns: Visit or call 517-432-6200 or 1-844-678-6200.