While all eyes have been focused on the media or busy lending aid to those struggling with COVID-19, there’s another group of people watching as well. Only their minds are on the victims’ wallets.
“Unfortunately, not everyone is so altruistic,” says Scott Iver, Technology Strategist for NAED, “It’s one of those things. Criminals will be criminals. They will take advantage of any situation they can.”
According to ZDNet, “Thousands of COVID-19 scam and malware sites are being created on a daily basis.”
Sadly, when people at their most vulnerable, “that’s a prime time for criminals,” says Iver. “People are scared and worried. They don’t know really what’s going on.
According to ZDNet, “hackers are not letting a disaster go to waste and have now automated their coronavirus-related scams to industrial levels.”
In these times, it’s best to keep your guard up when these ‘bad actor’ types are trying to take advantage, says Iver.
If you’ve kept all of your electronic devices updated you’re more protected than others. “Continue doing things like patching and installing your updates,” Iver says. “Make sure to install a good anti-virus program.”
If fact this is the perfect time to update or shop for strong anti-virus programs.
“Windows 10 has Windows Defender so that can help quite a bit,” he says. “Mostly it’s just keeping up with the windows updates and keeping sure it is set up to automatically install updates and check on it periodically. This is a great reminder to check on these sorts of maintenance things. People usually forget.”
Once you’ve ensured everything is installed, if you have problems updating, force the update, he suggests. “Those out of date things are the first to fall by the wayside,” he said.
According to Barracuda, “Most of these sites are being used to host phishing attacks, distribute malware-laced files, or for financial fraud, for tricking users into paying for fake COVID-19 cures, supplements, or vaccines.”
Iver says there’s not a lot of new advice for these new malware or viruses as the scams typically work much like past virus and malware has.
“Criminals go with what works for them. They go with the percentages game,” he said. “Tug at the heart strings to click on these links or download links.”
Above all else, keep your guard up. If you look like a tougher target, you’re typically safer.
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