Cybersecurity: The Human Factor

  • Be on the lookout for fake emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts claiming to have information about the coronavirus or news of available vaccinations.
  • For the most up-to-date information about the coronavirus and COVID-19, visit websites of trusted sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) yourself. Be suspicious if someone asks for information they should already have, or are not authorized to access.
  • Look out for someone using overly technical and confusing terminology to get you to do something.
  • Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
  • Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to emails asking you for this kind of information.
  • Beware of messages about “investment opportunities.” The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued warnings about online promotions, including on social media, claiming that the products or services of publicly traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure coronavirus, and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result.
  • Do your research before donating to charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by money transfer, don’t do it.
  • Look out for people trying to create a sense of urgency. By doing so, they are banking on you acting first and asking questions later.



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Julia Phelan, Ph.D

Julia Phelan, Ph.D


Julia has a Ph.D in education from UCLA. She has extensive experience in learning engineering and instructional design.