Cyberhealth during the coronavirus situation

Tips for defending against COVID-19 cyberscams

March 15, 2020

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

While you attend to your health during the coronavirus outbreak, please also take care of your cyberhealth.

Cybercriminals often take advantage of crises to trick people into divulging passwords, donating to fraudulent charities, or clicking on malicious links or email attachments. Such phishing scams and cyberattacks may prey on concerns about COVID-19 and may impersonate university officials or government agencies.

What We’re Doing to Protect You

  • Most phishing emails are automatically blocked by the UO's current email security controls, preventing them from ever reaching your inbox.
  • UO’s Information Security Office is continuously monitoring incoming messages for new phishing attempts, including any that may be focused on coronavirus.
  • The Information Security Office may sometimes systematically remove confirmed malicious phishing messages from UO email accounts to reduce the likelihood of harm to the UO community.

What You Can Do to Protect Yourself

  • Do continue reading messages and news from the University of Oregon about coronavirus. The UO's coronavirus webpage contains the most current information. You may also receive email messages from your department.
  • Don't reveal personal or financial information by email, and don't respond to email solicitations for such information.
  • If you receive a suspicious email message, first check UO's Phish Tank. If a message is already posted there and labeled a "Phishing Email," simply delete it from your inbox; no need to report it. If it isn’t posted in the Phish Tank, please forward the message to
  • To protect your Duck ID, sign up for two-step login (Duo).

If you have any questions about phishing or email security, please contact the Information Security Office at

UO facilities — including the Eugene and Portland campuses — are currently open but are taking actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. You can find the most current information on the UO's coronavirus webpage, which includes an FAQ and links to additional information about the novel coronavirus and messages related to the university's preparation and response.

General questions or concerns about anything related to the university and its response to COVID-19 can be submitted using this web form.


Jessie Minton
Vice Provost for Information Services and Chief Information Officer