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How to Protect Yourself Against COVID-19 Phishing Scams

Phishing is increasing at a faster rate amidst Covid-19. It’s a cybercrime in which people are contacted usually through emails or calls by someone who claims to be from a legitimate organisation and tries to steal your personal details such as banking and credit card details, passwords etc.

According to a recent report, the total number of Covid-19 related email attacks has boosted by 667 per cent from the month of March. According to Google, 18 million fraud emails are sent by scammers about Covid-19 to Gmail users every day. Though 100 million emails are blocked each day by the company, but currently one fifth of them are Covid related.

These cybercriminals lure recipients to click on unsafe links or attachments in emails, text messages or even social media posts. The email subject lines are very alluring and the message in those emails might ask you to open an attachment/ or click on link to register. If you click on the attachment or embedded link, you’re most likely to download some malicious software onto your device which can not only damage your system but also your it gives the hacker or cybercriminal the access to all your data.

Other Examples of COVID-19 Scams

  • Counterfeited notices from health and medical institutes
  • Fake emails from a company owner about changes in the policies or procedures to address the risk
  • Link of landing pages which take you to a fake website
  • Information about protection against the virus and to keep safe that contains malicious links or attachments
  • Illegal fundraisers claiming to help victims of the virus

These days, cybercriminals have got even more new opportunities to do such fraudulent activities under the umbrella of this global pandemic. As we all know, work from home is the new normal working model during these times, therefore, the massive increase in remote working over the last couple of weeks has provoked cybercriminals to gain more out of this situation.

Users are advised to remain cautious and not to click any link or website if it seems even slightly suspicious and if they come across any such link or attachment, they may want to report it to the legal authorities or cyber police. It’s smart to avoid any ads or mails with subject or text stressing on the coronavirus or asking for some immediate action.

Tips to protect yourself from such scams

  • Thoroughly check the sender’s email address- Make sure that the sender’s contact name matches the actual email address they’re sending the email from. Do not open any mail which looks suspicious.
  • Avoid clicking! – Do not always click or any link in the email unless necessary or you know the sender really well.
  • Ask for opinion, if possible – If you receive any email, ask a co-worker if he/she has received same email or not. Or, ask a friend for general opinion if that email looks any suspicious to them. 

For anything related to IT security, or for comprehensive IT assessment of your organization to safeguard your data, please reach out to us.

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