Unfortunately, wherever there is a crisis, there will be those looking to take advantage of that crisis for their own personal gain. The COVID-19 pandemic is no exception to this. Since the pandemic began, we’ve seen scammers come up with new schemes designed to take advantage of the current crisis through phishing scams and other techniques. Keep reading to learn more about these virus-related scams and how you can protect yourself and your business from becoming a victim. And be sure to contact us for Central Florida network services.
Posing as a Reputable Source of Information
As this public health crisis continues to unfold, the public has been encouraged to stay abreast of any updates and new information pertaining to the novel coronavirus. Such information is especially important to businesses like yours, which are constantly adapting their business practices to changing circumstances surrounding this pandemic.
One technique scammers are currently using is to pose as a reputable source for COVID-19 updates, such as legitimate health or medical organizations. They will email individuals or businesses with an attachment, which they claim contains important coronavirus updates. However, when you download the attachment, you download malware onto your computer, which can not only infect your device, but any device connected to your network.
Harvesting Logins and Other Data
Another, similar technique that they use is to send an email posing as a legitimate organization, but instead of installing malware on your computer through an attachment, they’ll attempt to harvest information from you. For example, you might click on an attachment, then be prompted to re enter your email login information to open it; this harvests the login data for the scammers to use.
They can also pose as organizations conducting COVID-19 surveys or offering testing. You’ll fill out a form thinking that you’re providing information to help study the disease, or that you’re scheduling an appointment for COVID-19 testing; instead, you’re providing sensitive information to scammers who will use it for their own gain.
How to Protect Yourself
The key to protecting yourself and your business from these phishing emails and related scams is in educating yourself and your employees. Make sure you know about the current scams, and know how to recognize a phishing email. (Reading this article is a good start.) Here are a few other things you can do to further protect your business:
- Install firewalls, email filters, and anti-malware software to filter out malicious IP addresses and domains, and to reduce unwanted email traffic.
- Update network security and anti-virus software regularly.
- Don’t use work devices for personal activities, like checking social media or personal email, or for general internet browsing.
- Update passwords regularly, and educate employees on how to choose strong passwords.
- Use 2-factor authentication whenever possible.
- Avoid clicking on attachments from any unknown sources.
- Don’t click on links contained in an email; type the URL directly into your browser or into a search engine instead.
If you need assistance with updating your network security to protect yourself from hackers and scammers, contact the Millennium Technology Group for computer services in Central Florida. We’ll ensure your network is as secure as possible, and can help reduce your risk of being a victim of one of these COVID-19 phishing scams.