How To Protect Yourself From COVID-19 Related Cyber Scams

Some people are using the internet with malicious intent, making it unsafe and unreliable for users. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, cyber scams are increasing daily, which raises a significant issue of online security. By taking advantage of the health crisis, cyber scammers are continuously coming up with fraudulent ways to con and deceive people.

Common scams and how they work

The most common method is by sending fraudulent emails and online messages through apps such as WhatsApp. The messages have the intention of making you click on links, open attachments or fill in the information. When you do this, hackers can install malicious software on your devices or steal money and delicate information. Currently, emails from the world health organization are what most criminals are using.

Another way involves the sale of health products, such as the essential personal protective equipment. When shopping online, some sellers will ask for pre-payment, but no products are delivered. Other sellers will deliver fraudulent goods that do not meet the required standards.

Some scams will offer quick money, free goods or a new job. Once you accept the job, you are asked to fill out paperwork that asks for sensitive information such as an address, social security number and bank information for payment. This information can is used to impersonate or access your financials.

As you browse through the internet, it is common to have pop-up messages and ads on your screen. Criminals are creating pop-ups about covid-19 that are meant to lure you into clicking them. If you click on the message, it triggers malware installation on the device. Such malware is designed to log your keystrokes, scan devices for delicate information, access the webcam, lock you out of your device or destroy your files.

How are people vulnerable?

The scammers are taking advantage of the fact that most people are looking for ways to work from home or how to make money online.

The pop-ups on your browser may be presented as links to news articles on Covid-19 updates.

If the devices are permitted to auto-download files from the internet, the user may be unable to control what is downloaded or review sites beforehand.

How to avoid internet scams

In order to protect yourself, it is essential to install antivirus software on your devices and update them frequently. They work by detecting malicious code and disarming it. This way, malware does not embed on your devices.

No matter how tempting it may be, do not open attachments, click on links or download suspicious software. If you are not sure, contact the organizations or bank requests by using known email addresses or listed numbers. Turn off auto-downloads in your in-boxes.

What do you do if you fall victim

If you suspect a scam or become a victim, contact your bank immediately and report the incident to Action Fraud, which is the reporting centre for fraud and cyber-crime.

For a step by step guide to dealing wtih malware read up on: What to do if you come across a virus or malware on your computer.

If you are still in need of help then why not contact CyberCall Computer Repair Bristol for a no obligation consultation, often we can fix the issue via remote IT support without requiring a call out. Whether you’re in Bristol or further afield then don’t hesistate to get in touch with our friendly team.

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