COVID-19 presents an opportune time for Cybercriminals and scams which means it’s critical to be extra vigilant online. With kiwis and the wider world grappling with this health pandemic, there’s a huge amount of information floating around and emails being sent. We’re going to highlight some key things to watch out for and talk to you about how you can be cautious online.
What to Watch Out For
So far, several coronavirus-related attempts to cyberscam people have been reported. We’ve seen examples such as:
• Emails that appear to come from government health departments
• Offering a tax refund to get people to click on malicious links
• Memos to staff that appear to come from large employers
• COVID-19 test offerings from private companies
• Fake websites promising to sell face masks or hand sanitiser
• Soliciting donations to help fund a vaccine
What to Do
Be cautious. It’s understandable that you’re anxious, but don’t let that stop you from taking cyber precautions. You should still:
• Be wary of anything that tries to play on your emotions and urges immediate action
• Question where emails are coming from remain vigilant even if the communication appears to come from a reliable source
• Hover over links before clicking them to see where they will take you
• Avoid downloading anything you didn’t ask for
• Doubt any deals that sound too good to be true
• Ignore any communications requesting your personal information
• Don’t be drawn in by fraudulent pleas for charity
• Ensure you have an up to date antivirus protection on your computer
• Make sure you’ve applied all available security updates to keep your software safe
Global health organisations generally do not send out emails with advice. Instead, navigate directly to a reputable health institution or the government website for accurate news. Your best source for information and reputable links is the New Zealand Government COVID-19 dedicated website https://covid19.govt.nz/.
Cybercriminals might view COVID-19 as an opportune time for scams but you can make sure you, your family and friends are protected. Spread the message around about being extra vigilant online in these challenging times and notify people of anything suspicious.
This article was originally published on https://www.computer.co.nz/covid-19-opportune-time-for-scams/