With COVID-19 (coronavirus) being in the headlines over the past few weeks, cybercriminals are using the desire we have to know more about what is happening and finding products needed to protect ourselves, against us. This is done through phishing scams via email that attempt to steal personal information or infect company and personal devices with malware, as well as ads that promote false information or fraudulent products.
One such example is a phishing email that used the CDC logo to look legitimate. In the email, they claimed to provide a list of local active infections. Receivers of the email were instructed to click on a link in the email to access this list. This link would take them to a web site that looked legitimate but asked for email login credentials that were then stolen.
It is important to remember that the link could take you to a site that looks like the CDC web site, but has malicious code imbedded in the page, which you cannot see. If your antivirus is not able to protect you against this, then the code will run and infect your system.
1. Firstly, always be suspicious of an email with a link in it. I always advise people never to click on a link unless they are expecting one or have verified that it is legitimate.
2. If possible, go to your web browser and type in the appropriate link directly. For example, go to the CDC web site directly (www.cdc.gov) and search for the information you need on the verified web page rather than follow a link.
3. Look at the email address where the email was sent from. You can look at the sender’s details, specifically the part of the email address following the “@” symbol in the “From” line. If that does not look legitimate, then delete the email. It is important to note that spammers can spoof an email address to make it look legitimate so this is not a good enough test in and of itself. It can at least take you some of the way to verifying whether it is real or not.
4. Hover your mouse over any link in an email or web site and you should see the web address written correctly. If it is anything other than what you expect then there is a high probability this is a scam.
5. Be very careful - if you receive a call or email that gives you unexpected or unsolicited information, do not click on the link or provide any information.
6. While Facebook and other social media companies are trying their best to weed out fake advertisements and scammers, some may still slip through. Being vigilant in all situations is the best protection.
Remember, it is better to find information you need from an official source or web site rather than to follow a link.
It is important to understand that all systems are vulnerable to attacks and viruses, even mobile devices. If you are not protected well enough, you can lose all your data and have your personal details stolen.
TRK Technology can do an audit of your system and show you any vulnerabilities you may have, as well as recommend possible solutions. TRK Technology can also provide the needed solutions to protect you, from reducing email spam and viruses to active monitoring of your systems through a range of services.