Cyber Security Safety Series: COVID-19 Risks
Published April 6, 2020
Cybercriminals may be staying at home, but they are not taking a break from phishing attempts and password hacking during this pandemic. Hackers throughout the globe are attempting to take advantage of people working from home during this time.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recently issued an alert that offered guidance on defending against COVID-19 cyber scams. It is important to keep your “GUARD” up by being wary of the following types of activity.
- Do not open any unsolicited emails with COVID-19, Pandemic, etc. in the title.
- Do not click on any COVID-19 infection maps. Cybercriminals are targeting these specifically.
- If you get an email and within the body it references COVID-19, important information that is listed in an attachment is most likely a scam. If the sender wants you to know what to do to prevent the virus, they will tell you in the body of the email.
- There are phishing campaigns in progress that pretend to be your doctor or your hospital contacting you about coronavirus testing. If you get one of these, don’t click on any links or respond to any emails. Call your hospital or doctor’s office instead if you have any questions.
- Be wary of new charities soliciting donations to help with COVID-19. If you want to donate to an existing charity, please visit their official website DIRECTLY (instead of clicking on an embedded link on a social media site, post, or in an e-mail).
- Be careful when visiting websites for information about the coronavirus, particularly when you are accessing them via social media.
- If you get a text message or email about taking steps to register for your stimulus check, don’t click on it. The government will not be reaching out to you in email, and typically will communicate via postal mail.
- For family or friends who have been affected through a lay-off, be wary of sites that offer help to register for unemployment. Because the states’ unemployment websites have been overrun and are crashing, scamsters have started to put up fake sites to obtain personal information.
Be sure to use your common sense and natural caution when choosing what to do online.
This information should be used as a guideline and is not intended to replace the emergency preparedness advice of state or federal authorities.
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