The world is slowing down during this COVID-19 pandemic. The stock market is being hit hard. People are no longer going out. We’re told to quarantine or self-isolate and not engage in groups.
You can bet there’s one group that’s not slowing down at all. In fact, they’re probably working overtime while the rest of us have our lives turned upside down. Cybercriminals and hackers know there’s no better time to strike than during a global crisis. While you are distracted and spending your time trying to make sense of this new normal, they are finding new ways into your IT network so they can steal data and passwords, compromise your clients’ private information and even demand large ransoms.
Cybercrime is already on the rise and is expected to cause £5 TRILLION in damages by 2021! But, if history repeats itself, hackers will be out in full force throughout this coronavirus scare. We fully expect in the upcoming weeks that headlines will change from stories about COVID-19 to accounts of a frenzy of cyber-attacks on corporations and small businesses.
Here are solutions you can implement now to help protect your business data, money and productivity:
1. Be more suspicious of incoming e-mails.
Because people are scared and confused right now, it’s the perfect time for hackers to send e-mails with dangerous malware and viruses. At this moment, your in-box is probably filled with “COVID-19” subject lines and coronavirus-focused e-mails. Always carefully inspect the e-mail and make sure you know the sender.
The scammers are hitting in-boxes with sextortion emails. A lesser known crime where the blackmailer tells the victim he will use personal intimate images or footage to force the victim to pay up.
Avoid clicking links in the e-mail unless it’s clear where they go. And you should never download an attachment unless you know who sent it and what it is. Communicate these safeguards to everyone on your team, especially if they are working from home.
2. Ensure your work-from-home computers are secure.
Another reason we expect a rise in cyber-attacks during this pandemic is the dramatic increase in employees working from home. Far too many employers won’t think about security as their team starts working at the kitchen table. That’s a dangerous precedent.
First, make sure your employees are not using their home computers or devices when working. Second, ensure your work-at-home computers have a firewall that’s turned on. Finally, your network and data are not truly secure unless your employees utilize a VPN (virtual private network). If you need help in arranging your new work-from-home environment, we would be happy to get your entire team set up.
3. Improve your password strategy.
During crises like the one we are all facing right now, your passwords could mean the difference between spending your time relearning how to grow your business and trying to recoup finances and private data that’s been hacked. Make a point now to revaluate your passwords and direct your team to create stronger passwords.
Also, while it’s so convenient to save your passwords in your web browser, it also lessens your security. Because web browsers simply require their own password or PIN to access saved passwords, a skilled hacker can bypass this hurdle. Once they access your saved passwords, they can steal as much as they want – credit card information, customers’ private data and more!
You, your team and your family have enough to concern yourselves with in regard to staying healthy, living a more isolated lifestyle and keeping your business strong. There’s no need to invite in more problems by letting your computer and network security slide during these times.
Here is one I got:
I'm aware, xxxxxxx (text hidden) is your password.
I need your total attention for the the next Twenty-four hrs, or I may make sure you that you live out of guilt for the rest of your life span.
Hey, you do not know me personally. However, I know nearly anything concerning you. All of your fb contact list, mobile phone contacts and all the digital activity on your computer from previous 175 days.
Which includes, your self pleasure video, which brings me to the primary reason why I am crafting this specific mail to you.”
Finally it said:
“However, it doesn't have to be that path.
I want to make you a 1 time, no negotiable offer.
Buy USD 2000 in bitcoin and send it to the listed below address:”
That went straight to my spam folder.
If you need additional security advice or would like to have a consultation to discuss how to keep your data safe, simply get in touch with us today.