The barrage of COVID-19 information is overwhelming and we all want to stay updated, but you should avoid downloading coronavirus tracker dashboards. According to an investigation by Reason Security, some of these coronavirus maps contain serious malware known as AZORult. Using AZORult, a hacker can steal your browser history and social media login information; access your bank accounts or cryptocurrency vaults, and even gain full remote access to the infected device.
Reason Labs specifically calls out the “Corona Virus Map” Windows software, which even uses the same interface as Johns Hopkins University’s tracker that we covered last week to look more legitimate. If you installed “Corona Virus Map” at any point, uninstall it and perform a virus scan immediately. It’s also worth running a scan if you installed any other coronavirus-related apps or software recently; hackers are nothing if not opportunistic, and it’s likely “Corona Virus Map” is just one of many coronavirus-related scams. If you’re adamant about having constant, up-to-the-minute updates on the virus’ spread, I suggest bookmarking Johns Hopkins’s official tracker and only using that one, and stick to trusted online sources.
That said, here’s another suggestion: maybe don’t use the trackers at all. To be clear, I’m not advocating ignorance or saying this is nothing to be concerned about, but stress and anxiety wreak havoc on our mental and physical health and weaken the immune system. Constantly analysing COVID-19’s spread is a massive stressor. Try to log off and find moments of peace—the breaking news and latest stats will still be there if you check back later. Heck, you could even use that time to help find a vaccine by playing these video games instead of staring at the latest statistics all day.