Cyber criminals are using COVID-19 fears to scare people into clicking on links, opening malicious attachments, or giving out confidential information. Be careful with anything related to the coronavirus such as: emails, attachments, any social media, texts on your phone, information online, anything.
Over the years there have been a long list of international events, both positive and negative, that have generated increased cyberattacks – Michael Jackson’s death, Katrina, and Barack Obama’s election. In all of these attacks, the bad guys used the victims’ emotions against them to get them to behave in a way that, without the emotional discomfort, they likely wouldn’t have.
During this emotional time when we’re working remotely, we’re more at risk to these types of things. Both the FTC and the Secret Service have reported increases in reported attacks tied to COVID-19.
4 Ways to Protect Yourself From COVID–19 Cyberattacks
- Be Wary COVID-19 Related Subject Lines:
Be particularly wary of topics like:
- Check updated Coronavirus map in your city
- Coronavirus Infection warning from local school district
- CDC or World Health Organization emails or social media Coronavirus messaging
- Keeping your children safe from Coronavirus
- You might even get a scam phone call to raise funds for “victims”
- Donate now to help Coronavirus victims
- Don’t Take Unusual Action Without Verifying Authenticity
Be wary of emails from clients/customers asking you to click a link or take some action that is out of the ordinary. If you get a message that is asking you to take some unusual action, call your contact directly (don’t just reply to the email or text) and verify it was sent.
- Develop an Internal Communication Plan
Develop a communication plan within your company for internal communications. For example, let your employees know that all information will be contained in the body of the email and that communications will not contain links to other information.
- Report Mistakes to IT Immediately
If you think you’ve made a mistake and clicked a link or responded to a scam, report it to your IT team quickly. The quicker the IT team knows of a successful attack the quicker they can contain it and reduce the damage.