As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to move around the planet. cybercriminals have increased their attacks. Part of this is because many people are now working from home and aren’t behind the cybersecurity systems of their offices. That makes the hacker’s job a lot easier since most home computers aren’t well protected. The most common method of these attacks recently has been COVID-19 phishing emails. Hackers are using COVID-19 themes to help get their malicious emails opened. Read on to learn about some examples.
Recent COVID-19 phishing emails have used themes that play up the urgency to increase chances a user will open the email. These include reports claiming to be the latest safety measures or the latest figures on infections. They usually claim to be sent from organizations like the CDC or the WHO. This makes them look official and reliable. They may contain links that use these titles to appear more legitimate. However, these organizations aren’t going to send you documents like this via email. All of the information you might want is available on their website. Any attachment or link these types of emails contain is very dangerous.
Popular Zoom invites used to send malware
Zoom and other online video conferencing systems have also seen a rise in popularity due to the massive number of companies having online meetings. Ever clever and resourceful, hackers have created Zoom meeting invite emails that are actually malicious. The link to what you think is a company video conference is actually malicious. It may attempt to harvest your passwords or infect your computer with different types of ransomware.
Protect yourself from COVID-19 phishing emails
The most important thing you can do to protect yourself from these scams is to be very suspicious. Don’t click on anything that you aren’t absolutely sure is legitimate. If you are unsure, contact your company’s IT department or person.
If your organization isn’t using spam filtering, now is a good time to implement that. A good spam filter can help keep out many of these types of attacks.
Keep your computers up to date with Microsoft updates. These updates plug holes in the operating system that different kinds of malware can use to take over your system or infect it with ransomware.
Make sure you have a good anti-malware program installed on your computer. The software should have a real-time scanning feature. Many free versions of anti-malware software don’t offer this critical feature. This will protect you as you open emails and surf the web. Also, be sure to keep the software up to date as this will give you all the latest signatures the software needs to locate malware on your computer.
One last quick tip. Make sure you are using strong passwords. Most people use very weak or easily guessed passwords. This makes the attacker’s job a lot easier. A technique you can use to create a secure password that is easily remembered is to take 4 random words such as lake iron bake dragon and use that as your password. That is an 18 character password that would be very difficult to crack. You can make it harder by adding one capital letter and one number somewhere in the password. Now you have a very secure password that is easy to remember.
Following these steps will make the chances of you or your company falling prey to the latest COVID-19 related scams and phishing emails that are making the rounds.