Hackers Prey On Coronavirus Fears

 

This week, the FBI warned of an unprecedented wave of coronavirus scams. The targets are remote workers and older Americans, but how to avoid COVID-19 scams. 

Even during a global pandemic, the cybercriminals are not taking any breaks from attempting to steal your personal information and company data. They are working even harder to prey on COVID-19 fears. 

The cybercriminals go for the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain, and that is the human element.

The hackers are using social engineering for the scams. They are phishing or sending emails claiming to be from legitimate organizations and sharing vital information about the coronavirus preying on people’s need for information during this uncertain time. 

 

How does phishing work?

 

The pandemic makes phishing easy for the bad guys. Everyone wants more information, and these emails promise that to the reader if they say open an attachment or click an embedded link to see the latest statistics or fill out a form. When opening the attachment or the embedded link, it is most likely just downloaded malicious software onto your device. That allows cybercriminals to take control of your computer, log your keystrokes (helpful in getting passwords), or access your personal information. It could lead to identity theft. 

 

How to Avoid COVID-19 Scams.

 

There are three easy ways to protect yourself when COVID-19 emails and texts show up in your inboxes:

  1. Don’t Open Attachments or click the embedded link. That seems common sense, but verify who is sending by checking the email address carefully. 
  2. Install security software. Reputable paid virus/malware protection software can lessen the threat. 
  3. Keep your devices and software updated. Most of the updates are security patches. 

Just like keeping healthy by using proper handwashing hygiene, with good cyber hygiene, you can do the same for cybersafety.

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