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Data Security during Coronavirus

IT Services advise staff to be aware of increased cybercrime during the Coronavirus outbreak and follow best practice IT security guidance.

The National Cyber Security Centre, and several other reputable agencies, have found evidence of criminals exploiting coronavirus fears and uncertainties to try and trick users into clicking on links in emails and documents to harvest user data and usernames and passwords. They can then use this data to access more sensitive systems and attempt identity theft and fraud. With many colleagues having to work in unfamiliar ways and using personal devices - we all must remain vigilant when working with data and opening links and documents. Remember "If in doubt - do not open the link or document".

Take the following steps to help minimise the risk of being caught out by these scams:

  • Take extra care when being asked to follow links or open documents
  • Avoid downloading data on to personal devices. If possible work with online files and documents (e.g. online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint) or directly into online forms and systems. For advice on using online materials and accessing files online see our pages on Office365 and WebDAV file access to your H: and M: drives, folders and files.
  • Avoid putting sensitive information in email text, or attaching documents that contain sensitive information - instead, send links to online documents.
  • If you are not using an IT Services managed desktop, follow the Best practice guidance listed on this page

If you suspect you might have been the victim of a scam, or have received a suspicious email, then please contact the IT Services Helpdesk or our IT Security team on CSIIRT@warwick.ac.uk immediately.

For general advice and support, please contact the Help Desk.

Best practice guidance

If you feel confident to do so, you should ensure the following security measures are in place on your personal or self-managed Warwick computer:

Check your device is running an up-to-date operating system (Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android) and anti-virus software

you've set a login password and you are keeping your ITS Account secure

you have up-to-date anti-virus protection installed

you have enabled a firewall

your hard disk is encrypted (be sure to keep your password safe)