Unfortunately hackers and scammers will take advantage of any opportunities they can to exploit people, even serious situations like the Coronavirus. Many attempts at exploitation these days involved online and email scams.
Most of us if we received an email from a sender that says Center for Disease control (CDC) or World Health Organization (WHO) we would probably be inclined to open it. Especially if the subject line seems to indicate that there is vital new information about something regarding the virus and our local community. We might even be tempted to click on links or attachments inside the email. However it is in our best interest to be extremely cautious about the things that we click on, especially if it is asking for personal information.
Fake emails can look surprisingly convincing. Often the logo of a reputable website will be pasted into the body of the email, and the sender address and links will look legitimate. These emails will change 1 or 2 letters in the address or even just shift the punctuation, giving the appearance of a legitimate site but taking you to a fake one. The address may be .gov but in the fake email it will say .org, which the average person may not notice. These fake links will send you to a manufactured website asking for personal information like login and password, which the scammers can then use to hack into things like your email account and steal any information that they can.
Here are some things that you can do to protect your information from scammers.
- Check the URL before you click on the link. If it looks suspicious at all steer clear.
- Never enter data that the type of website wouldn’t normally be asking for. Websites like the CDC and WHO are public sites and would never require you to have login credentials.
- If you realize that you just revealed your password through a scammers web page, immediately change the password. Change any other accounts that may have the same password. It is best to have different passwords for every site you login to.
- One of the best ways to safeguard your accounts is to require a two-factor authentication. This means when you login it will send a 6 figure code to your email or phone and you will have to enter that code to continue. While it may take a few extra minutes your accounts will be much more secure.