Throughout the period of this pandemic, email phishing like other cybercrimes has been on an all-time high. It is important for us to learn what phishing is and how we can protect ourselves.
Phishing.org defines computer phishing as cybercrime in which a target or targets are contacted by email, telephone, or text message by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords.
With the presidency of this virus, most organizations have changed their working arrangements. Thus establishing strong working systems via the internet.
These fraudulent opportunists, standing upon the vulnerable state of organizations in this pandemic are tricking users into handing over their personal information. Also by clicking on malicious links or attachments, they could unknowingly download malware on their computers.
These mischievous cybercriminals also disguise themselves as reliable, trustworthy sources in society as a means of exploitation. The impersonation ranges from the government ministries and bodies controlling public affairs. The emails also bear legible logos and are complete lookalikes of legit ventures.
How This Deception Works
Certain attachments and links might pop up urging the user to open them to learn more about the pandemic, and who wouldn’t in this period when ignorance is fatal? If the user complies, malware is then discreetly downloaded from the site. This gives the attackers direct access to remotely control and alter personal files.
With this ultimate control attained, the victim might fall prey to more serious issues such as identity theft.
Discernment for effective control
While you might receive numerous legal emails about the virus or any other urgent matter, it is vital to watch out for emails that: sound excessively urgent and impose great fear, claim they have exclusive gist on the virus, place emphasis on downloading links or enabling sites or accepting to view attachments.
Prevention is better than cure after all, and rather than wish for a remedy, we’ll show you how to guard against the defect. Some of the ways are by refusing email addresses that are unfamiliar to you. These cancel out your chances of the hackers contacting you.
- Avoid sending personal or fiscal information via email as it can be used wrongly.
- Clear out all email insisting on immediate response and if still in doubt, leave them till you’re certain.
- As government and medical agencies will most probably not contact you directly with any information, be wary of the emails you get claiming to be from these sources.
- Install and constantly update anti-spam, anti-virus, and anti-spyware software to guard your device.
What To Do If You Become A Victim Anyway
- Run regular scans to enable you realize the scam early and nip it in the bud.
- If you have already provided your bank details, you might want to contact your bank and warn them.
- Remember you are not doomed if you become a victim. Therefore you can always report the scam to the proper authorities, delete it and flush your system.