Seven tips to keep you safer online while you are Safer at Home

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As the world hunkers down in a global effort to stop the COVID-19 spread, scammers are ramping up their sinister efforts.

We all need to be extra vigilant as we spend more time online. Furloughed workers who need to apply for unemployment benefits and aren’t sure how, senior citizens concerned about the decrease in their principal, and bored people who aren’t used to being home all day and let down their guard all make easy targets.

We urge everyone to remain vigilant and to keep in mind that Safer at Home does not translate to Safer Online.

Here are some tips to keep you safe, especially during the next few weeks.

  1. If you find yourself furloughed and need to apply for unemployment benefits, please be very cautious about what link you use. The address should end in gov. Do not click on a link you see in an ad. In Wisconsin, the correct links are https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/uiben/online/  and https://my.unemployment.wisconsin.gov.
  2. Hang up on robocalls offering you virus treatments or work from home opportunities. Do not respond at all and do not click on any numbers, even if you are directed to dial a number to be removed from the call list. Just hang up.
  3. Do not order any home test kits or remedies touted in any advertisement. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores. There are also currently no FDA-authorized home test kits for the Coronavirus.
  4. Do not share false information about the virus. For legitimate information and updates, visit the U.S. Government’s Coronavirus site here: https://www.usa.gov/coronavirus
  5. A $2 trillion Coronavirus stimulus package has been agreed to by the Senate, but details about how that money will be distributed have not yet been announced. Do not respond to any emails, texts or phone calls offering quick access to any stimulus money. These are scams.
  6. Do not donate to any charity that requests cash, gift cards or wire transfers. https://www.charitynavigator.org/ is an excellent site you can use to determine the legitimacy of any charity seeking your donation.
  7. Remain vigilant in your online behavior. Do not click on any links from sources you don’t know. Hover your cursor over the link to determine exactly what the web address is. Clicking on scam links could lead to viruses or malware on your computer, tablet or phone.

We hope you are all healthy and staying safe during this global pandemic. Please follow the CDC guidelines, no matter how stringent they seem to be. We look forward to brighter days ahead and, in the meantime, wish you all well.

If you have any questions regarding your finances during these stressful times, feel free to call or email our office. Though we are following Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers’ Safer at Home order, we are still fully functional and will respond to your query within 24 hours.