Coronavirus – the importance of being cyber aware now more than ever

Douglas Rintoul

Douglas Rintoul

IT Partner

With working from home becoming the new norm for a lot of us, we’re relying on technology more than ever before. From holding meetings virtually (and social meet ups!) to relying on the internet for information and news updates - never before has being connected to the world digitally been so important.

Unfortunately, this is leaving the door open for scammers who are using this incredibly unsettling time to try and lure vulnerable individuals in to providing them with their personal information.

The rise in phishing scams

In March 2020 there was more than a 200% increase in new phishing sites (a spoof website) used to create scams relating to the coronavirus pandemic. It is more important than ever that you and your employees are aware of the increasing cyber risks out there.

Many of these phishing emails are targeting users working at home with lures such as: “Free Testing Kits”, “Charities”, “COVID Safety Information” or fake “WHO advice”. A lot of these emails are attempting to extract login details, commit fraud or infect your system with malware. A sad turn of events has even seen criminals trying to extort money from people by threatening to infect them and their families with the virus. They may also appear to be sent from a trusted source, a colleague or organisation that you currently do business with.

What can you do?

Please, pause and consider - if it sounds too good to be true - it usually is. If you need to reply or make a decision on the request within the email, make sure to contact the sender by a phone number you have on record, independent from the information in the email, to confirm if the email is valid.

The National Cyber Security Centre website contains a number of practical tips on keeping cyber secure when you and your employees are working from home. There’s a great deal of helpful resources on the website with tips for incorporating into your working and homelife to keep your employees and your family safe online.

Stay safe!