The impact of the virus on the business community is real. It will hit some businesses harder than others, but everyone will need to take some actions to mitigate the impact on their products and services. With the whole nation staying at home and working remotely, cybersecurity matters more than ever, making it more important to protect yourself and your company. Awareness is your best defence!
Follow these safety and security steps to minimise the risk of cyber-attacks:
1. Password Choice
Use passwords that are at least eight characters long including upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. The password should not be related to your name, family name, birthday or current year.
For example – VanquishTech777!
2. Change your Passwords Frequently
It can be frustrating when you forget your password and have to reset it or change it, but it is a worthwhile tool to keep your private information safe. Change every 3-6 Months.
3. Don’t use the same password everywhere you go
For example, if someone accesses your password for one of your online accounts, you don’t want them to then also have access to your finances. This is paramount.
4. Do not open emails from someone you don’t know
Be mindful of what goes on the URL. For example, some emails come through saying it comes from a domain called metrobank.uk while the legitimate domain is metrobankonline.co.uk.
5. Email scams linked to COVID-19
There is a spike in email scams linked to coronavirus and cyber-criminals are targeting individuals as well as industries. There are five campaigns, in particular, to be aware of:
‘Click here for a cure’: Be aware of a strange email from a mysterious doctor claiming to have details about a vaccine being covered up by the Chinese and UK governments. People who click on the attachment are taken to a webpage designed to harvest login details.
COVID-19 tax refund: Emails are sent out to the public asking them to click on "access your funds now", this will take them to a fake government webpage, encouraging them to input all their financial and tax information.
‘This little measure can save you’ from the World Health Organisation: Be sceptical to emails regarding COVID-19. Hackers pretending to represent the WHO claim that an attached document details how recipients can prevent the disease's spread. Look after the message "This little measure can save you”.
‘COVID-19 - now airborne’: The subject line reads: Covid-19 - now airborne, increased community transmission. It is designed to look like it's from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The link directs victims to a fake Microsoft login page, where people are encouraged to enter their email and password. Then victims are redirected to the real CDC advice page, making it seem even more authentic.
‘Donate here to help the fight’: The fake CDC email asks for donations to develop a vaccine, and requests payments be made in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
6. Do not give out or share information randomly
If you get an email or receive a phone call from someone asking you to provide any personal information, do not give it to them. Nobody will ever ask for your bank details over the phone or to enter card details online.
7. Be vary of text scams
Mobile phones are increasingly becoming the most important part of people’s work and social lives – which means they’re more and more vulnerable to attacks.
Do not send sensitive data such as credit card details or important private information by text. The main rule is to never give any information over text message, and only use it as a way of showing alerts.
8. iCloud scams
iCloud scams aim to trick people into giving up the password that they use to get into their Apple account – and, once hackers are into that, they can easily get your bank account details, your location, and more scary stuff besides.
9. Suitable antivirus running on your device
10. Accessing websites while outside of personal
Remember to log yourself out whatever service you are logged onto. Use the ‘Incognito’ function of a suitable Browser (e.g. Chrome, Firefox) as they are private.
11. Be vigilant
If you think there’s any reason to question the legitimacy of a message you receive, simply ignore it- if the person sending it is who they say they are, they’ll follow up if they don’t hear back from you.