Protect Yourself From COVID-19 Cyber Fraudsters

In this COVID-19 crisis, everyone is transitioning to working from home and reinventing schedules to adapt to online life. Mike from Core Vision IT Solutions says working remotely from home has become the new norm, especially with Cloud Computing.

Compunet’s Joe Martin was recently interviewed by the CBC on COVID-19 and the risks to Vancouver businesses from cybercrime.  Check it out here.

COVID19 Cybercrime Vancouver Businesses

What also needs to be taken care of is online security and privacy. There is a whole new set of threats that await people working remotely. Companies thoroughly protect networks and devices, but working from home it can be a challenge to set up everything in line with corporate cybersecurity standards.

Remote work environments lack the same safeguards as in the office. When working from the office, staff are working behind layers of preventive security controls. It is not perfect, but it makes it harder for cyber fraudsters to interfere. Therefore, additional security policies are essential when working remotely. Observe and apply the following security guidelines to enforce cybersecurity.

Equip Your Computer

Equip the computer with the right security software. Ensure that your computer is always protected by installing security programs. This way you won’t fall victim to malware and identity theft. The security program should be an antivirus software together with a firewall. Download an antivirus program, which scans the device for malware and removes if the computer is infected. Also, install a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to enforce your privacy. This way you browse the internet with a shield of anonymity.

Beware of Internet Scams

As much as security programs installed provide protection against online scams such as phishing sites, some internet scams bypass by presenting differently. Scammers can present as legitimate websites, business offers, advertisements, emails, or lottery winnings. The goal is to trick you into falling for them.

Verify whether a hyperlink or URL is safe before you click on it. Mouse over the cursor to the link without clicking on it to see the URL. Don’t click on links that look strange or you are not familiar with. It helps to do a quick web search on the domain name. Also:

  • Check for spelling mistakes or broken English.
  • Be cautious if a person asks for personal informational
  • Don’t front the cost of any supplies
  • Don’t provide too detailed of a sample of your work

Some fake websites look as good as real ones — a good security suite installed will block the site from the device.

Encrypt Data

Have the device set to have all stored data encrypted in case of theft. Also, encrypt the information before sending, for example, emails with sensitive information is at risk of interception or seen by a third party if it’s not encrypted.

Use Corporate Services for Email, Messaging, and Other Work

Companies usually have a set of IT tools employees can use anywhere, for example, Microsoft Office 365. At the very least use corporate email. Those tools are safely configured by your company IT service provider. Always use corporate resources when exchanging documents and other information. If someone googles something on the topic of your document not shared through corporate resources, it might appear in the search results. Cloud drives, but configured for business are more reliable than the free versions.

There is less risk of missing an important email as corporate mail usually has less spam. And because of the none of your personal correspondence, you avoid the risk of sending or forwarding an email to the wrong address.

Always Be On the Lookout

A highly convincing message sometimes sneak into corporate mail. This especially applies to remote workers because the rate of digital communication sharply increases with telecommuting. Carefully read such a message and don’t rush to reply. If a message presents as urgent, demanding some sort of payment or requests sensitive information, always double-check to confirm.

Good security measures and policies help, but the very staff is also an avenue of risk. We advise when you work from home to always act safely with corporate devices and information. Incorporate the above-discussed work from home security strategies as a cybersecurity policy.