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Cyber safety and COVID-19 - A message from IT&S
March 21, 2020 (4:30 p.m.) 

At times of intense distraction or major crisis, cyber criminals see opportunity.   

We have become aware that phishing campaigns, spam, and malware scams are circulating that use COVID-19 response as their basis. In fact, it has been reported that one circulating cyber scam targeting some MSVU users appears to be coming from an @MSVU.ca email address.   

You are reminded to be vigilant in monitoring for cyber-attacks and report any suspicious activity to the Help Desk (msvu.ca). Protecting MSVU information and systems, as well as your personal information, is critically important.   

Please take the following precautions: 

  • Avoid clicking on links and opening email attachments in unsolicited emails 
  • Beware of warning messages that appear to come from leaders/managers stating that your MSVU email or any other account is about to expire or requires verification 
  • Beware of urgent (“Are you available?”) or unusual requests that appear to be coming from university representatives, like requests to purchase gift cards 
  • Be aware of incorrect email addresses and subject lines with an unusual sense of urgency 
  • Verify the source of a message or request before responding 
  • Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information 
  • Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations 
  • Ensure you have antivirus software installed on your home computer. See the Antivirus and Malware Protection web page for advice on selecting one for home.  
  • Use trusted sources—for example www.msvu.ca/coronavirus or government websites—for up-to-date, reliable information about COVID-19 
  • A reminder that there is free cyber security awareness training available to MSVU students, faculty and staff (access it here)  

For faculty and staff

  • Only use MSVU VPN for accessing administrative systems that require it (Colleague, Informer, Student Records, and network drives). Disconnect from the VPN when not using it for that purpose. Consider using SharePoint or OneDrive to manage your files instead. 
  • Avoid using MSVU VPN on shared/family devices.  
  • Protect your device – ensure that devices like laptops that you are using to work remotely are kept secure. If you are concerned that your data privacy may have been breached (for example, if a device is lost, left somewhere, or otherwise compromised), please notify IT&S immediately. 

Resources 

Help Desk 

A reminder that the MSVU Help Desk is available to support members of the University community (msvu.ca and 902-457-6538). Please understand that there may be a delay as our staff work to support significant and evolving IT&S needs at this time.