Coronavirus: 10 things you should avoid doing online

Coronavirus-related myths and online scams you should stay away from

Representative photo. (Credit: iStock)

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus has sent waves of panic across countries, claiming over 3,000 lives. Without a cure in place yet, there is a lot of speculation around possible cures and preventive measures. 

With anxious citizens and governments trying to educate themselves, there is a lot of misinformation on the internet spreading widely. 

Here are some coronavirus myths you shouldn't buy into online, according to a Gadgets Now report:

1. Online ads claiming to sell special face masks for coronavirus:

There are no special masks available to protect you from coronavirus. The safest course is to keep away from close contact and nasal or oral secretions such as sneezing, coughing etc.

2. Are N95 masks better than surgical masks? 

Health experts continue to clarify that masks alone cannot guarantee full protection. It is important to understand that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is small in size and can easily go through the pores of N95 masks. So, the debate of N95s vs. surgical masks doesn't hold ground.

3. Looking for and buying medicines, oils online:

Experts and health officials are still researching a cure for the virus. Products or companies claiming the contrary to sell products are just looking to make a quick buck.

4. Websites explaining coronavirus:

Don't trust everything on the internet. Be wary of websites and blogs giving information on the virus and trust authenticated sources and news that verifies its information from the WHO and notable health experts.

5. Ads selling fake coronavirus test kits online: 

No official test kit has been mandated so far.

6. WhatsApp messages, influencers and TikTok videos on coronavirus:

This may not be verified information and even popular influencers or family groups might be perpetuating myths without their own knowledge.

7. Self-diagnosis and looking for symptoms online:

If you feel sick, go to a doctor. Looking up symptoms might overestimate or underestimate the extent of your illness.

8. Sharing unverified articles:

Refrain from sharing unverified articles and videos as it might create panic.

9. Phishing emails! 

Beware of phishing attempts related to the novel coronavirus disease. Cybercriminals might be taking advantage of the situation and trying to trick you.

10. Suggestions from celebrities, influencers:

Although well-intended, several popular YouTubers or your favourite celebrity influencers may not have the correct information on the virus. Researchers are still studying and publishing new findings.

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