CISA Warns Against COVID-19 Cyber Scams and Provides Security Tips

March 23, 2020

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Cybercriminals waste no time in exploiting potential loopholes and advancing their tricks online. The target this time is the pandemic currently spreading – the coronavirus or COVID-19.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has warned individuals to remain alert to different phishing scams employed by scammers to trick individuals and companies into revealing sensitive information or making donations to fraudulent causes.

In the light of brazen attacks by these scammers, CISA has shared security tips to help everyone defend against fraudulent antics.

Apply Caution with Email Links and Attachments

Scammers would want to trick you into clicking on a link or downloading an attachment that exposes your device to a malware. Apply caution before clicking on links or downloading any attachments even if they appear to be sent by a source you may want to trust. Review the CISA’s Using Caution with Email Attachments for more information.

Secure your Personal Information

Avoid revealing personal or financial information in your email, and do not respond to any emails that compel you to do so. Review the CISA’s Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Scams for more information.

Use only Trusted Sources

Only seek up-to-date information about COVID-19 from legitimate government websites. Be wary of emails claiming to be generated from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visit the CDC website directly at https://www.cdc.gov and the coalition of World Health Organization websites which can be accessed through https://www.who.int.

Verify the Authenticity of a Charity Before Making Donations

As physical stores, bars and restaurants are shut across the nation, lots of workers have been released from their places of employment. This has created uncertainty as to when those affected will see another paycheck. Fraudsters are now exploiting this loophole by claiming to provide support for those who need help. While giving generously is good, you should verify the authenticity of a charity so you don’t fall victim to scammers. See the Federal Trade Commission’s guide on Charity Scams for more information.

As most companies have asked their employees to work remotely following the threats posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, it is important that you stay on guard to avoid becoming a prey to cybercriminals who are never on the internet for good.

Your health is very important, and so are your personal and financial information. Protect them at all costs.

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