Cybercrime has rocketed since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic as many try to exploit people’s fears. Below are tips on how to protect yourself.
The introduction of measures to contain the coronavirus means we are spending more time online, whether teleworking or surfing. Combined with anxieties caused by the crisis, this often results in unsafe online behaviour and cybercriminals are exploiting these weaknesses.
They use phishing, installing malware and other malicious practices to steal data and access devices, allowing them to do anything from accessing bank accounts to organisations’ databases.
Fake messages or links exploiting concerns, driving to malicious websites or including malware themselves, including news about miracle cures, fake maps about the spread of the virus, donation requests, emails impersonating healthcare organisations
Fake messages or calls purporting to be from Microsoft, Google Drive etc. trying to get hold of your login and password by offering “help” or threatening the suspension of your account
Fake messages about non-existent package deliveries
How can I protect myself online?
The EU is pushing telecom operators to protect EU networks against cyberattacks, but in the meantime, following the tips below can help you stay safe while using the internet and working remotely.
- Be cautious with unsolicited emails, text messages and phone calls, especially if they use the crisis to pressure you into bypassing the usual security procedures. The attackers know that it is often easier to trick humans than to hack into a complex system. Remember banks and other legal groups will never ask you to reveal passwords.
- Secure your home network. Change the default password for your Wi-Fi network to a strong one. Limit the number of devices connected to your Wi-Fi network and only allow trusted ones.
- Strengthen your passwords. Remember to use long and complex passwords that include numbers, letters and special characters.
- Protect your equipment. Make sure you update all your systems and applications and that you install an antivirus software and keep it up to date.
- Family and guests. Your children and other family members can accidentally erase or modify information, or even worse, accidentally infect your device, so don’t let them use the devices you use for work.
European internet safety measures
The European Parliament has long supported EU measures to ensure internet safety, as the reliability and security of network and information systems and services play a vital role in society.
EU institutions, such as European Commission, the European Union agency for cybersecurity, Cert-EU, and Europol have been tracking malicious activities, raising awareness and protecting citizens and businesses and will continue to do so.