The Pandemic Phishing

Just when you thought pandemic has slowed things down, the hackers and scammers came out of their shells a little bit more. People are getting scammed in the name of Covid-19. it looks like the number of Covid-19 cases and phishing cases are increasing day by day. Even if the number of infected people are decreasing, the scammed people aren’t.

To spread the phishing scams hackers are taking advantage of health scares. Infected links and attachments are being sent through mails, messages and social media posts. Being aware about these scams has become way too necessary. This Covid-19 phishing scam, like any other scams, can be really harmful so it’s better that you go and find a sure solution for it.

It is very obvious that if someone sends you a mail about Covid-19 or anything else associated with it in a pandemic then you’ll open it. That’s how these phishing scams are running and we, being unaware about it are suffering. The attackers will send you e-mails claiming to be from a legitimate organization containing information about the Corona Virus. It is very easy to infect your system with such mails, links and attachments without even letting you know. What do we do about it then? Let’s see that in this article.

Dealing With COVID-19 Phishing Scam:

The first thing is to spot a Covid-19 phishing mail. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Health advice mails: Hackers know it very well that people are looking for reliable health advice to protect themself against corona. So they are sending you emails in the name of health advice claiming to be from a reliable source. The mail may provide links stating it to be the “Safety guidelines for beating this pandemic”. if you click on that link it will lead to the download of malware.
  2. CDC Alerts: Cybercriminals will send you an email claiming it to be from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. It may claim to have a link showing lists of infected people in your neighborhood or the safety hazards that you need to follow for being safe. They will lead you to some fake page or may hang your system which means your system has been infected.
  3. Workplace policy emails: Employees from different organizations and workplaces are being targeted by hackers and sending them emails that claim to be from their workplace. These links and attachments will again lead you to the path of malware download.

You should know how to recognize, avoid, and protect yourselves from such phishing emails the minute you see them and here are some ways to do that:

  • I’ll be very clear with the fact that no Legitimate Government Agency will ever ask you for your personal information like Social security number or any login information. They don’t need it. So if any email claiming to be from a legit government agency is asking you such a question then it is a red flag. Completely avoid such mails, don’t open them or the links and attachment contained in that mail.
  • The urgency or emails asking you for an immediate response can be a phishing mail. You don’t have to react on it. Hacker’s main goal is to achieve your personal information as soon as possible so that they can scam you at that very instant. Delete that mail as soon as you receive it.
  • You should also look for generic greetings. One characteristic feature of phishing emails is that they won’t use your name. Instead, they will address you like “Dear Sir or Madam”. It’s your cue to go and delete the mail, else you can get scammed.
  • Always, I repeat, always check for any type of error in your mails. It can be anything like grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, errors in punctuation. Any mail containing such mistakes is a phishing mail for sure. Look closely and save yourself from getting scammed.
  • To protect yourselves from phishing emails you can secure your system with security software. Set it to update automatically so that it can deal with all the online threats and attacks non its own.
  • Multi-factor authentication is one good way to protect your system from any cyberattack. All you have to do is to add two or more credentials to log in to your account. It can be of two types:
    • Scan of your fingerprint, your face, or retina, basically something that you are.
    • Code you got through text or any authentication app, basically, something you have or you got.
  • Backing up your data is a very important step if your system somehow gets hack. You can make a copy of a; your data and keep it safe in a hard drive or cloud storage.