As companies take measures to protect their employees and customers regarding the spread of COVID-19, cybercriminals are seizing the opportunity to use fear and heightened awareness to target unsuspecting individuals. If you haven’t already noticed, you will likely see in the coming days/weeks communication(s) from one or several of the companies you chose to do business with regarding their efforts to keep employees and consumers safe from the spread of COVID-19. But they aren’t the only ones attempting to communicate with you.
“As consumers, it’s everyone’s job to stay informed and educated about cybersecurity,” states Matt Praught, CIO at Summit Companies. “Fraudsters are taking advantage of fear and stress that most people are feeling today in order to trick people into falling for their tactics. We want our customers and vendors to be diligent and aware so that when these attacks come your way, you can fend them off.”
Here are some simple methods of fending off these attacks:
- Don’t open emails from unknown sources, simply delete them.
- Don’t respond to text messages from unknown senders, simply delete them.
- Be suspicious of links in emails and try to go directly to the website for information.
- Don’t provide credentials to anyone over the phone. If someone is pressing you for your private information simply hang-up on the caller.
- Change your passwords frequently.
Even with these few suggestions, you are greatly enhancing your defense against malware, viruses, and even cyberattacks that may not have an immediate negative effect on your computer or the networks – but could very well execute at a later date.
Additionally, be aware of phishing campaigns sent that claim to have the most up-to-date information on the COVID-19 status. The links in these emails are not safe. You may also notice fraudsters claiming to collect donations to help with the COVID-19 relief efforts. Again, do not fall for these attempts.
If you have concerns that you may have clicked on something and/or provided any credentials please practice changing your password to the site in question. And lastly, if you have doubts about the emails or messages you receive, trust your instincts and simply delete them.