We’ve recently covered the financial and business aspects of COVID-19’s effect on cybersecurity companies and their clients. With the pandemic changing the way MSPs conduct business, it’s also important to note that this virus has also introduced new scams that exploit company and individual fears in order to wreak havoc on finances, networks, and personal information. According to Google, it’s systems detected about 18 million malware and phishing messages daily revolving around COVID-19 in addition to more than 240 million COVID-themed spam messages.
Hackers like to capitalize on trends and global current events, often creating new ways of scamming individuals. In this blog, we’re going to talk about ways that you can avoid COVID-19 phishing scams.
Avoid and Be Wary of Unsolicited Attachments
The most common way that hackers get individuals to click on phishing links is by sending attachments and including suspicious hyperlinks within emails, texts, and messages. It’s best to avoid any unsolicited attachments and links, even if it looks like it came from someone you know. Cybersecurity companies will warn you that these online criminals have been known to create mock email addresses that closely resemble trusted emails.
Don’t Put All Your Trust into Antivirus Programs
While you pay for these programs for peace of mind and protection against the latest online threats, cybercriminals are always looking for ways to stay ahead of the curb. In some circumstances, hackers may be able to craft new viruses that could potentially go undetected by antivirus programs. If an attachment seems suspicious to you, don’t open it, regardless of if your program deems is safe.
Save and Scan All Attachments Before Opening Them
Another important thing to note when it comes to attachments is that there is a safe way to open them. Cybersecurity companies recommend that you save and scan attachments using an antivirus program before you open them. If the program finds anything fishy, it will notify you and you’ll know that you should discard of the attachment immediately.
Turn Off Automatic Attachment Downloads
Most people have their email accounts set up to automatically download attachments. This can be especially risky today, as there is an unprecedented number of phishing scams circulating the web. It’s imperative that you check your email settings and disable this feature so that you can decide which attachments to download.
Phishing scams have been around forever, but cybercriminals are beginning to find new ways to hide these suspicious attacks in order to catch unsuspecting individuals off-guard. By following these suggestions, you can avoid falling victim to the millions of COVID-19 phishing scams going around on a daily basis, protecting your personal information from those looking to capitalize on the uncertainty facing our world today.
Coronavirus phishing emails: How to protect against COVID-19 scams