Computer Viruses and Scams to Watch Out for During the Coronavirus Pandemic

By  //  April 2, 2020

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Panic stifles our ability to think and to make smart decisions. Fear prompts us to take the path of least resistance or most convenience, especially when our primary instincts revert to that of self-preservation.

Panic stifles our ability to think and to make smart decisions. Fear prompts us to take the path of least resistance or most convenience, especially when our primary instincts revert to that of self-preservation.

There’s nothing inherently bad about this, except when it becomes a point of weakness for sinister people to exploit. 

It’s during times like these when you have to be on your guard against the hackers and scammers who are very likely to use the global pandemic as a time to strike. So, what are some scams and viruses that you have to be on the lookout for during the CoronaVirus pandemic?

Fraudulent Websites

There are two general types of fraudulent websites. The first of which is an IT-themed website that claims to provide work-from-home opportunities.

Given the severe need that many have for income during lockdown, it’s easy for people to fall prey to these types of websites. The sites ask to download malware-laden files or to provide sensitive information such as bank details. 

The second type of fraudulent website comes in the form of a CoronaVirus-themed website that is meant to target those who are in panic mode and those who are curious about the virus.

There are legitimate websites such as the COVID-19 dashboard that keeps track of infection and recovery rates around the world, but hackers have found a way to mimic the website where they are able to embed harmful code and software that steals passwords, usernames, and credit card information from the user’s browser.

Phishing

The need for work-from-home opportunities amidst widespread community quarantines is also a contributory factor because not everyone is able to work from home.

Those who are part of the gig economy but can’t work from home are highly susceptible to phishing emails that claim to offer online work, when the true purpose of these emails is to elicit private information such as passwords, credit card information, etc.

The same is true for companies whose employees are asked to work from home. It’s easy to find the contact information of employees in company software and this information gives hackers a means to find their next target and to contact them directly.

This is especially dangerous for companies whose employees work remotely because of how hackers can get these employees to download malware that helps the hackers gain access to the company network in order to steal sensitive information.

Scamming Via Preventive Products

As previously established, the fear brought about by the pandemic is more than enough to hinder people from thinking rationally.

This makes them more likely to believe scammers who claim to sell products that prevent COVID-19 infections even when these products are going to have no effect. 

These days, it’s important to not only safeguard yourselves from the risk of infection, but also from the risk of fraud and data theft.

Ensure that your antivirus software is up-to-date and that you have tools such as cleanmymac to further bolster your protection against viruses and spam.

Make sure to avoid products that sellers claim to prevent COVID-19 infection specifically as there are no known products thus far that grant immunity to the CoronaVirus.

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