As with any widespread crisis, hackers and scammers are using the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to target unsuspecting victims online. Over the past several weeks, many COVID-19-related security threats have emerged, with one study finding that approximately 32 percent of people believe they have already been targeted by such a scam.
So, what does all of this mean for you? While data security has always been important, it is now more vital than ever to keep your information safe. By having a solid understanding of what today’s COVID-19 scams look like, you’ll be better equipped to avoid falling victim to one.
Phone and Email Scams
With thousands of Americans having received their Coronavirus stimulus checks (and some still awaiting theirs), many scammers are looking to take advantage. Currently, some of the most common cyber-attacks involve phone and email phishing scams that encourage victims to share personal information to receive their stimulus money. This includes bank account info, Social Security numbers, and other data that can be used to steal funds and even identities.
In reality, the government will never send out unsolicited emails or make unwelcome phone calls collecting this kind of information.
Another common COVID-19-related scam is the use of malware to carry out ransomware attacks. Most often, this malware is embedded inside applications that are advertised as COVID-19-tracking software. Users then download the app with the intention of staying up to date on Coronavirus cases in their area, only to find that the malware has taken over their device and “locked” their data.
From there, hackers use this as leverage and collect ransom money in exchange for unlocking the device. To avoid this type of scam, we recommend that users only download apps from a known app store and not directly from a source on the web.
With so many people in need as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, some generous individuals are opening up their wallets to donate to charities and other noble causes. Unfortunately, there are a variety of charity scams out there that are pretending to be COVID-19 relief funds. Before giving to any kind of charity, it’s always a good idea to check out the Federal Trade Commission’s Charity Scams page and carefully vet the organization.
Keeping Your Information Safe
Now that you have a better understanding of the types of Coronavirus scams that are out there, you can take several measures to keep your information safe. This is also a good time to review your hosting plan to ensure it is as secure as possible. If you don’t already have a dedicated server set up, consider making the switch to dedicated hosting for maximum security.
With dedicated servers from ReliableSite, you’ll enjoy unrivaled data security and the option to back up your information as well. On top of that, we offer free DDoS protection and physical security features like controlled access, 24/7 staffing and surveillance, and much more. Contact us today to set up your account!