March 19, 2020


While working from home, it is essential we protect ourselves and Texas A&M University by keeping our systems and information secure. Cyber criminals are already using the COVID-19 crisis to their advantage and we must remain vigilant. If you need help implementing any of these steps, contact Help Desk Central at or call 979.845.8300.

Top FOUR tips for securely working from home:

  1. Ensure you have the latest security updates and automatic updates are enabled on your Windows or Mac computer.
  2. Change the default password on your wireless network if you haven't already and enable WPA2 encryption on your router. Use a strong password for your wireless network. If you are unsure how to do this, call your internet provider for assistance or check their official website.
  3. If you need to email confidential or sensitive information, use, TAMU's encryption service.
  4. Use separate passwords for each of your accounts. Use a password manager (like 1Password or LastPass) to track and secure the passwords.

Specific threats related to COVID-19

Recent cyber threats include phishing campaigns and malicious websites posing as legitimate sources of COVID-19 information.

  • An interactive map produced by Johns Hopkins University is being embedded in malicious websites set up to deliver malware when the map is viewed. The official map can be found at
  • Spoofed emails from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or World Health Organizatin (WHO), sometimes customized to the victim’s area, offer updates on the virus outbreak but may also contain malware attachments with titles such as “DOWNLOAD-COVID-19-REPORT-SAFETY.iso” or “CoronaVirus impact on Shipment booking.doc”.
  • Malware files with COVID-related titles sent through chat apps (KakaoTalk, WhatsApp, etc.)
  • Phishing emails focused on gathering donations, claiming to represent official organizations, like the CDC, WHO or local authorities.

The Division of Information Technology asks that you:

  • Don't download or open any files that come from unfamiliar sources or individuals that cannot be verified. Be vigilant and forward suspicious emails to
  • Don’t open any file shared through chat apps or social media that look suspicious (e.g. a Word file with a COVID-related title).
  • Don’t enter your username or password in unfamiliar websites. Check the spelling of website domains and ensure they begin with “https.”
  • Always validate the “from” address and the true destination of hyperlinks in email messages.

If you have any questions about working securely at home, or if you have inadvertently clicked a suspicious link, please contact immediately.