The constant abruption of the economy due to COVID-19 is not the only thing that is happening. Lately, concerns regarding Phishing have surfaced on the internet, and many businesses and individuals have lost millions due to panic and confusion. See how you can protect yourself from scammers and frauds.

What is Phishing, and how can you protect yourself?

To put it in simple words, collecting confidential information remotely and using that information to one’s benefit is known as Phishing. There are many types of Phishing, but the most popular one is malware. Hackers install malware on websites that collect private information remotely by tricking users into clicking on a call-to-action button. Then this data gets transferred to a third party without your consent. Users who are not aware of a website security certification or visit a local website are more likely to fall into the Phishing trap.

How does COVID-19 give rise to Phishing?

Among the many disastrous things COVID-19 brought upon the world, Phishing is one of them. When everyone was consumed with media and isolation, hackers took advantage of the work from home policy made by the Government. People started working remotely, which means sharing files online and confidential information online. Hackers took advantage of this situation and collected the information they needed. This information included passwords, bank details, and important business papers.

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How did Phishing work in a Pandemic?

Due to the work-from-home regime, people shared their files using all kinds of online applications and data-sharing websites, and hackers took advantage by finding loopholes in the application. One such application was Zoom which was hacked by people who collected internal information and caused havoc. Criminals exploited the Pandemic by utilizing consciousness of the situation to fool clients into uncovering their data or unintentionally tapping on pernicious connections to download malware to their PCs unintentionally. They may even mimic government associations and significant websites to look as original as the former.

How does online scamming work?

Email messages that may request that you open a connection containing appropriate data concerning the Coronavirus will probably download pernicious programming on the system when you click on the link. This click could permit cybercriminals to assume responsibility for your PC, log your keystrokes or access your data and money-related information, which could prompt fraud.

How to recognize Phishing in COVID-19 Pandemic

There are many different ways to identify a fake website and a fake Email. Here are a few of the steps you can take to keep a check on potential Phishing attacks in your organization.

  • Avoid any website that looks like a copy of the original.
  • Refrain from replying to emails outside your organization.
  • Do not download anything that you don’t need or don’t require by the system.
  • The hackers will try to make you hurry to spread fear. Don’t click anything on any suspicious link or image.
  • Avoid websites with too many pop-up ads.
  • Do not agree to save cookies from sites you are not familiar with.

How to protect yourself from Phishing

  1. Take time to reply to an unknown email. Broken English and unrealistic offers are a sign of a phishing attempt.
  2. Avoid messages that prompt call-to-action buttons like click here, download, and enroll now.
  3.  Check the email address. Check names, credentials, and the availability of identity of the sender.
  4. Check website certification. It is located in the left corner of the URL bar.
  5.  Avoid false messages about COVID-19 from untrusted sources.

Aftermath of Phishing

If you are a victim of Phishing, you can follow the following steps to prevent further damage.

  • Contact your IT department.
  • Contact your team members
  • Close all application tabs.
  • Delete recently downloaded files from unknown sources.
  • Share the information with the seniors.
  • Take screenshots of the email and website and save them for further process.
  • Block emails coming from the sender.
  • Review mail servers
  • Change passwords for all the users and accounts.
  • Do not share information on the same network.

COVID-19 changed the world and its functionalities. It is essential to stay alert and watch out for possible cyber attacks. It is advised to use Anti-virus software and online protection software to identify a potential threat and stop the user from visiting the infectious website. In addition, you should always turn your firewall on as it is a legit way to prevent malware attacks.

The most damaging types of phishing

Here are some of the top-rated phishing attacks that happen every day. If you’re one of the people who got caught in any of these then talk to a cyber security specialist because the hackers can damage your financial well-being as well as emotional and social well-being.

  • Spear phishing
  • Phishing email
  • Phishing website
  • Phishing link
  • Amazon phishing
  • Whaling phishing
  • Paypal phishing
  • Voice phishing
  • Clone phishing
  • Trap phishing

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