Coronavirus – Defend yourself from computer scams

Like many of you, during these days I have been keeping an eye on the news and trying to balance between calm/reality. In times like these, we are on the lookout for ways we can help the community, if only by staying home.

The bad news is that there is always someone taking advantage of situations like these to profit, trying to take advantage of people’s sensitivity. As if we don’t have enough problems already.

For example, many of us have been following websites that provide interactive maps of the evolution of the pandemic around the world. This is a good source of information that gives us an overview of the world picture. However, some cyber criminals have developed malware and made it available for some malicious websites to use this information, to install on people’s personal computers .jar files – Java Files – that run directly in the browser and steal saved passwords. A warning will always be triggered before installing the software and if you allow it you may be installing this malware..

I am also sure that many of you have received a lot of emails about Coronavirus, just like me. As many of us have opened these emails looking for information, cyber criminals have realized a new phishingstrategy. Since January this year more than 4000 email domains have been created related to Coronavirus. Emails coming from these domains are 50% more likely, when compared to other domains registered in the same period.

One way to defend yourself against this scam, is to always think twice before clicking on a link via email. It’s okay to be skeptical of email! For example, if you receive an email from your bank with a link to the institution’s website, open your browser and navigate to the institution’s website and login directly to your account instead of the link in the email.Also watch out for email attachments that you don’t expect to receive as malware can be hidden in .docx, .pdf or .mp4 files. .docx.pdf ou .mp4.

If you receive an email from a trusted agency, as the World Health Organization or your bank, be suspicious. Many domains have been created that look very similar to the originals of these institutions. 

Usually, phishing scams are based on their sense of urgency which leads to acting without thinking. This is when we need to calm down and carefully, analyze whether the email I received is authentic. 

It is times like these, of stress and insecurity, that are providing to cyber criminal attacks, but preparing and carefully analyzing what we do online can prevent the worst.

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