In these unprecedented circumstances everyone is living under difficult conditions. Our lives have been effectively turned upside down and whilst this is for the greater good, we are all suffering in the midst of the Coronavirus.
Our NHS workers and supermarket companies are working around the clock putting their own lives at risk to heal the sick and keep the nation fed. Therefore, it is extremely disconcerting to know that whilst we are at our weakest people are trying to take advantage.
The number of spam (messages), phishing (emails) and smishing (texts) is on the increase. One of our clients reported a sudden spurt in text and email messages designed to entrap them into entering their bank details. Four separate cases of false texts and a number of emails in just a 24-hour period.
The information received looked like it had come from a reputable company but on second glance something wasn't right. And when checked against other forms of communications from the same business found there to be anomalies.
These were in the form of the following:
1. The email address did not match the company.
2. The senders name was put in brackets or was spelt incorrectly.
3. The telephone number was not an official number registered for the company.
4. The persons name was spelt incorrectly.
5. The individual did not have an account with the company.
6. The message contained details relating to an offer, which looked too good to be true.
Our advice is to check and then double check before clicking on any links. And never give out your bank details. Reputable companies will not ask you to update your personal information on a text or email.
Computer Virus protection
To prevent attacks, ensure that your home virus protection is up to date and is applied to all your devices. Not everyone thinks to cover their phones or tablets but every piece of kit should be protected. Another simple technique is to use the software updates sent by the network provider or phone operator to keep your devices system running safely.
If you are unsure about whether a message is authentic err on the side of caution. Try inputting the message into your search browser to check if others have received fake messages. You will often find information that confirms others have been victims of similar attacks.
At times like these we strongly recommend you remain extra vigilant. Hackers or scammers will often target your weak spots. For example you may get a message saying that your account is overdrawn or that a bill can't be paid due to insufficient funds. These are scare tactics designed to strike where you are most vulnerable.
If you do fall foul to an attack you should contact the official company and tell them you have received a fake message. This will give them the ability to check it out and warn other customers to take care.
Online Meeting Technology
Millions of people have turned to using newer forms of technology to increase contact with family, friends and colleagues. In the last two weeks Zoom Video has increased in popularity due to its simple and easy way to host a meeting. People are gathering online to do Zoom yoga, church worship and online virtual trips to the pub. A tool that is designed to bring people together is an obvious target.
There have been reports of disruption to Zoom meetings, with hackers joining and posting pornographic material to shut down the call. To remain safe the company recommends that you have a strong password in place, invitation to participates only and ensure the host updates their security and privacy settings before the call begins.
It is sad, disgusting, even unbelievable to think that others wish to capitalise when the country is facing one of its worst crises since the second world war. But unfortunately, due to our modern age people will always try their luck.
Take care and before acting on any correspondence ensure it is safe to do so. The extra time it will take to verify the message will be a lot less time than sorting out the hassle of being attacked.
Contact us to find out more about Halcyon Offices Workspaces