As the world battles against the spread of coronavirus, a malicious strain of software is exploiting people’s fear of the epidemic.
IBM X-Force and Kasperky are warning people to be aware of phishing emails disguised as legitimate emails from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These emails claim to contain vital information on coronavirus and urge recipients to click on the attachment. Those who follow will unintentionally allow cyber-criminals to gain access to their valuable personal data and inject malware into their smartphones or computers.
Although these scams are mainly circulating around Asia at the moment, cyber-security researchers said we should expect to see more of them around other parts of the world as the outbreak continues.
Protect yourself from phishing scams
Hackers are becoming savvier in making phishing emails look legitimate. For example, the coronavirus email claims it comes from a convincing domain “cdc- gov. org,” whereas CDC’s real domain is actually “cdc. gov”. Follow these basic rules to prevent phishing scams:
1. Exercise caution
Be cautious of any unsolicited emails asking for your personal information like bank account and passwords. If the email looks sketchy, don’t open it – mark it as junk mail and your email system will learn to filter them. See more phishing scam prevention tips from Netsafe NZ.
2. Create strong passwords
Hackers will find whatever ways they can to obtain your passwords for their personal gain. It’s important to make sure your passwords are strong and difficult to crack, so you don’t become one of their victims. Follow these tips to create secure passwords.
3. Run anti-virus software regularly
Anti-virus software detects and eradicates malicious software. It keeps our personal information protected and computer’s health in check. If you have clicked on a link or opened an attachment from a phishing email, be sure to run your anti-virus software to check for malware. If you do detect malware and are unable to remove them, contact our staff at Advanced Computers – they are experts in removing various types of malware.
4. Only install official updates
In 2019, millions of Android phone were infected with malware as they download a suspicious third-party app called “Updates for Samsung”. People were paying for their updates that were supposed to be free. Be sure to install official updates, not ones from third-party apps.