23 Mar 2020
“Our appetite for information is vast and cybercriminals know this so there may be attachments or links offering further details or information and encouraging us to click before we think,” said Steve Durbin, managing director of the Information Security Forum
Cyber criminals are out in full force with a multitude of scams targeting people during the pandemic.
As cities and states work on slowing the spread of the coronavirus by limiting where people can go, hackers are already prepped and eager to target unsuspecting and stressed-out victims.
Cyber criminals prey on vulnerable people as they seek out information and data to maximize revenue. These hackers are instead spreading malware through mobile phone apps and websites and threatening users with ransomware, which use malware as leverage for monetary payments.
Here are some measures you can take to avoid falling for their scams, according to Lisa Plaggemier, chief strategy officer at MediaPro, a Seattle-based provider of cybersecurity and privacy education.
- Look closely at email sender addresses
- Don’t click on links in emails – navigate to the site yourself
- If someone wants you to call a number in an email, look up the number yourself on the company’s website
- Be cautious opening attachments from people you don’t know
- Be suspicious if the message (vishing or phishing) has a sense of urgency
- The sender or caller is asking you to give personal information, a credit card, or a money transfer – be suspicious of all of those and call to verify
“The reality is no matter what specific examples of online scams you look at today, by tomorrow those will change,” she said. “Cybercriminals are quick and agile.”
Hospitality and Travel-Related Issues
Many people are inundated by emails from hotels, restaurants, travel providers and airlines giving input on the measures that they are taking to combat the virus.
“Our appetite for information is vast and cybercriminals know this so there may be attachments or links offering further details or information and encouraging us to click before we think,” said Steve Durbin, managing director of the Information Security Forum, an authority on cyber, information security and risk management in London. “The hospitality industry is especially vulnerable at this time and very few communications with such links or attachments will be anything other than scams and they should be avoided.”
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