Society is experiencing an unprecedented phenomenon. COVID-19 is forcing people all over the globe to stay in their homes and practice social distancing.

 

Patience is needed to help eradicate this virus. Unfortunately, we are also vulnerable at home, but not because of the virus. Instead, the threat comes in the form of cybercrime, and this can create an even bigger problem.

 

With so many people in quarantine, the use of the internet has reached numbers never seen before. There are massive traffic increases to social media, blogs, and popular shopping websites.  This sudden change is offers a hotbed of opportunities for hackers and cybercriminals to catch more people off guard. They create content that tricks internet users into clicking malicious links.

 

Cyber Security Passion

 

Here are some of the most common cybersecurity threats you can expect during the coronavirus crisis:

 

Fake links that redirect to malware

This is a common method that implements popular topics. The latest trend makes use of COVID-19 to create links that seem to provide useful information on the virus, but they end up infecting your computer.

 

Phishing attacks

The approach is to create a near perfect replica of an email address or a domain name with subtle name changes that are meant to go unnoticed. Online hackers may create a duplicate of a website that allows you to register for coronavirus testing or something similar to encourage the sharing of private information.

 

Fake donation inquiries

The creation of fake organizations is another common cyberattack. Cybercriminals claim to gather donations to help those who need medical assistance. Others will say that they use these donations to fund research for a vaccine. Either way, their goal is to steal your money.  This means it's unlikely you will get a refund for your monetary loss -- or be able to preserve your personal information they stole.

 

How to protect yourself

Do not provide personal information unless you are certain of their 

  authority to have the information.

• Do not reveal personal or financial information in emails.
• Do not respond to email solicitations for personal or financial

  information.

• Do not click on any links sent in emails.

• Check a website's security before sending sensitive information over

  the internet by looking for "https" in the URL (the s indicates the site is

  secure) or look for a closed padlock icon (the icon indicates your

  information will be encrypted).

• If you are unsure about the legitimacy of a request for personal or   

  financial information, contact the company direct. Do not use the

  contact information provided in the email as this can be part of the

  phishing scam.

• Install anti-virus software and firewalls.

• Use email filters to reduce some of the spam.

 

Final thoughts

Learning everything you can about cybersecurity can help you stay safe on the internet. If you want to take what you learn one step further, there are opportunities to help protect businesses and individuals as they navigate the ever-changing online landscape.  Regardless of your level of interest, safeguarding communications and connections within the global community has become more essential that it ever was before.

 

Designated as a Center for Academic Excellence in Information Systems Security Education by the US National Security Agency, UAT offers an ethical hacking degree that’s highly recognized by industry and government entities alike. Click here for information on our Cyber Security degrees.

 

Lisa Ramirez

Written by Lisa Ramirez

Mother to 2 future innovators and Associate Director of Marketing at University of Advancing Technology (UAT).