Avoid Coronavirus Email Scams and Cyber Attacks

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With everyone well aware of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, hackers are taking advantage of the situation by deploying attacks meant to capitalize on the fears and anxieties associated with it. Credential phishing, malicious email attachments and links, fake landing pages, spam, and malware are all being sent out using the coronavirus as a lure, so the World Synergy team is here to help you navigate your inbox to avoid these attacks.

 

Examples of Coronavirus Email Scams

Below are a few examples of typical malicious emails to watch out for. Example #1 is an email that purports itself as containing information about the virus:

Make sure to avoid links to iCloud drives, as legitimate sources will distribute information with these kinds of links.

Example #2 is a request for Bitcoin, which is considered a red flag:

Example #3 is a bit more targeted, and appears safe at first glace:

This email message appears to be from a known source, but it contains a link that will download malicious software to your computer. Now that schools are closed, we are anticipating many emails from attackers posing as schools with harmful links in them. Since the ongoing coronavirus crisis is still very fluid with information changing quickly, attackers will attempt to prey on our vulnerabilities.

Also, please be aware that there have also been emails circulating bogus tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Remember to only rely on verified news sources for information about the pandemic.

 

How to Protect Yourself Against Coronavirus Scams

The examples above are just a small subsection of cyber-attacks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. They represent the "tip of the iceberg" of what will be coming over the next few months. So, what can you do to protect yourself? Even in this vulnerable time, these standard steps will help to protect yourself and your company:

  • Verify the source of the email. Check the sender’s email address. If the message seems to be from someone you know, but it still looks suspect, communicate with that person outside of that email to verify their identity.
  • Use your mouse to hover over links before clicking on them to get a preview of where the links will direct you.
  • It’s okay to be paranoid about the emails that come in. The nice thing about email messages is that you always have time to consider their validity before taking action.
  • Err on the side of caution. If you think it’s spam, delete it. Important issues will come back to find you.
  • If you are presented with new information, please confirm it through an official source. Preferably a website that ends with .gov.
  • If you receive anything questionable, don’t hesitate to send it to helpdesk@worldsynergy.com and one of our technicians will be able to determine if an email is legitimate for you.

Be Cautious to Stay Safe During the Coronavirus Pandemic

We anticipate many more cyber attacks in the coming months. Please stay vigilant to protect yourself and your company as many employees work remotely. Please look out for malicious emails and when working remotely, be sure to secure your connection with a VPN, use good passwords, and confirm if emails are authentic before engaging with them.

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at helpdesk@worldsynergy.com.