Unfortunately, we now live in a day and age where we should always expect that with any major event like the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we’re going to see attacks from bad guys that target us primarily via malicious emails and websites.
Recently there was a scheme that the bad guys used a website that was created to show updated Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection rates and deaths across the world. This same web site, while looking completely legitimate and had legitimate data, would actually install malicious software on your computer if you were to visit the web site.
Bad guys love an environment like what we see today where many people have a lot of concern. When our emotions are elevated at a higher than normal level it’s often easy for us to do things without fully thinking them through first.
Therefore, we should remind everyone to be extra cautions when interacting with emails and websites. Here are some important safety tips you should always remember.
- Does an email or web site create a strong sense of urgency prompting you to take action?
- Are your emotions/concerns significantly elevated by what you see?
- Is there a strong emphasis placed on you clicking a link or downloading a file?
- All of these things mentioned above should be red flags.
- Make sure to thoroughly evaluate any email or link on a web page when you see these red flags.
- If you’re not expecting an email or if an email is from a source that you recognize, but the contents of the email or not normal you should be extra cautious.
- Avoid clicking on links in emails or opening file attachments that you don’t recognize or are unexpected.
- Be careful to only visit reputable websites. Websites that you know and trust. It’s easy to see a link on a web page that promises to take you to another web page that has information that looks interesting to you. Hover your mouse over the link before clicking on it and make sure the link takes you to a web site you trust.
- As always, please ask your IT Department for help if needed.