Covid & Cyber-crime

With many people working from home and being nervous about the current pandemic, cyber criminals are taking advantage of this. There has been a major surge in cyber crimes.

People working from home are at a huge risk, as they may not know how to properly secure their computers or how to properly spot scams and phishing emails. Attackers can then access important and personal data and use it for their advatage.

Ransomware is huge right now as many attackers prey on user’s fears of the coronavirus. They send phishing emails that promise cures, emails that claim to sell masks and hand sanitizer, emails that claim to be from the CDC, emails that claim they have important COVID19 news, emails that have to do with false stimulus check information etc. User’s who don’t know any better will click on these malicious emails and that will then release ransomware or other nasty malware onto their machines. Ransomware not only locks user’s data, but the attackers can steal this data. This is a huge security risk if users are storing work related things and PII on their machines.

Scammers are very sly and their emails and even text messages prey on people’s fears of sickness, joblessness and money loss. People are desperate and attackers know this. They are counting on people’s emotions to assist them in getting money and information.

Attackers are stopping at nothing these days. Anything related to COVID19 and stimulus money has been used to their advantages. It is so important that we educate users and help them to be aware of these scams. We need to stay informed ourselves and be on the lookout for malicious emails and scams. It is no joke.

In order to stay safe, here are some tips to help you be on guard:

  • Be careful what links you click on
  • Don’t click on links in emails from people you do not know.
  • Emails may also include attachments such as PDF files. DO NOT OPEN THEM.
  • REMEMBER: There are NO known cures for COVID19 at this time. Everyone claiming they have a cure is a scammer and just want your money.
  • If an email creates a sense of fear or urgency, STOP. Don’t do anything out of haste. Take a step back and get a second opinion. Most emails that create a sense of urgency like this are from ATTACKERS.
  • Watch out for malicious text messages as well. Attackers will target you with text messages. Be careful what you click!!
  • A lot of attackers will send emails and texts claiming to be someone they are not such as Apple, UPS, FedEx, the CDC, etc. If you are not sure if a message you receive is legit, go DIRECTLY to the company and contact them. Better to be safe than sorry.
  • Be sure an email or text is from a trusted source before you click on anything.
  • Use a VPN when working from home.
  • Don’t store important files on your desktop.
  • Don’t share passwords with co-workers.
  • Use HTTPS rather than HTTP
  • EDUCATE friends and family.

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