Fears surrounding the unpredictability of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) can leave individuals nervous and vulnerable of becoming victims of cyber-attacks. Waiting for the latest update, we are on the edge of our seats, eagerly clicking on articles and opening text messages – but are we taking the necessary precautions to ensure we are keeping not just our health, but our personal data safe?

As the world increasingly becomes consumed with a global crisis, hackers are multiplying the ways they take advantage of individuals by spreading malware or viruses.

Currently, these hackers are exploiting worldwide concerns about the pandemic in order to gain access to personal information such as passwords and data. According to Check Point Software Technologies, domain registrations focused on the coronavirus are 50% more likely to be from malicious actors. While you are doing your homework on COVID-19 preventative measures, hackers are evolving their techniques to infiltrate your network.

Cybersecurity and privacy lawyer, Stephen Breidenbach told the Wall Street Journal that some attackers will lay low once inside your networks, making them harder to identify while they search for valuable information such as your bank account numbers.

We don’t expect this to go away anytime soon either. As working from home becomes the norm, cyber criminals will target not just you, but your employees and company, exposing you to additional risk.

To help protect yourself and those around you, familiarize yourself with these tips and share them with your company to best protect against strangers, foreign companies, hackers and criminals:

  • Become familiar with the FTC’s guidelines on identifying phishing scams. Raising your awareness about common phishing techniques could protect your personal information and save your company time and money.
  • Report any sign of phishing to your IT team. The sooner you report a potential scam, the quicker the risks can be mitigated.
  • Don’t download any attachments from an unknown source. Ensure the email is from a trusted source prior to clicking on or downloading attachments.
  • Use trusted news sources such as the CDC or WHO for information regarding the coronavirus. Hackers are creating fake domains to lure people in and steal their personal information.

Data privacy, cybersecurity and personal safety are our core tenets. As we leverage online platforms for more information and to execute our daily work, individuals and companies need to recognize the heightened risk to our information, take necessary precautions and employ best-practices to prevent against a potential attack.

Let’s protect your data, your privacy and your safety.