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Tips on how to avoid Coronavirus cyberattacks

In light of the Coronavirus situation, fraudsters are capitalizing on the national pandemic with the hopes of benefiting from the vulnerable. According to the American Bankers Association, industries across the globe are witnessing an increase in malicious cyber activity during these unprecedented times. Attackers are using a variety of ways to target companies. Attackers are attempting to take advantage of the COVID-19 crisis by preying on fear and those willing to help. Now more than ever, you should be cautious! Here are a few recommendations to protect yourself.


Types of Cyberattacks

  • Ransomware & Malware – These types of attacks continue to be the most severe threats for businesses. As noted by the ABA, there are reports of attackers standing up informational maps on the virus outbreak, which are infected with malware designed to steal personal information.
  • Phishing e-mails – This type of attack is being used to target individuals by posing as the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other legitimate organizations.
  • Insecure Environments – With many individuals working from home during the pandemic, cyber attackers are prowling online for insecure environments, such as home networks which often have less security protocols in place over a business network.

Tips to Protect You

  • Avoid clinking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of attachments.
  • Visit legitimate websites for factual information on the coronavirus, such as government websites.
  • Do not divulge personal or financial information in email, nor respond to email solicitations asking for this information.
  • Use multi-factor authentication on your accounts, if possible.
  • Double-check the source of downloads from the Internet by looking in your downloads folder.
  • Keep your devices up-to-date with the latest security updates and antivirus definitions.

During these unsettling times, it’s important to be on high alert for cyber attackers looking to defraud you of personal information. If you are uncertain that an email you received is legitimate, then refrain from opening it – especially if it’s from someone you do not know.

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Source: American Bankers Association, March 2020

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