The news about the coronavirus pandemic gets a little more frightening with each passing day. The death toll in China has risen to the hundreds and a growing number of countries are closing their borders to travelers from at-risk areas. There’s suddenly a global shortage of surgical masks. And as with almost every worldwide news event these days – whether it’s as trivial as the finale of a popular TV show or as dire as a steadily-spreading, potentially-lethal pathogen – the scammers have come out to take advantage of the situation and your fear.
In the case of the coronavirus, we’re already seeing phishing emails that claim to have information on how to protect yourself from the disease, but in fact contain malware-bearing web links or attachments.
When an email or text message hits your mobile phone or laptop with promises of information, video clips, or photos about such a significant, attention-grabbing topic, you may relax your usual wariness long enough to click. The next thing you know, a ransomware infection has encrypted all your data, applications, and systems and is spreading throughout your company.
This cynical exploitation of a global health emergency provides a useful reminder that there are vultures everywhere, and they’re always scanning the horizon for the guileless to feast on. Here are a few best practices to help avoid becoming a victim yourself.