Coronavirus and fraud: Protecting people at risk - UNI Blog
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COVID-19 and cybersecurity: How to protect yourself

Posted on Wednesday April 01, 2020

In these troubled times, there are many examples of people pulling together to help each other and being generous, transparent and empathetic towards the most vulnerable in our society.

Unfortunately, some are taking advantage of the uncertainty, stress and sense of urgency to cheat people. How can you protect yourself from these ill-intentioned opportunists? Here’s what you need to know.

Recognizing phishing techniques

The COVID-19 crisis is turning out to be the perfect turf for Internet fraudsters. At a time when the entire planet is confined indoors and glued to the screen, they dream up fraudulent schemes that play on sensitive issues in the news and pass themselves off as big institutions or governments.

Phishing, a widespread email fraud strategy, relies on three identifiable techniques:



According to CBC, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has received a number of reports of this type of fraud in recent weeks, particularly with respect to theft of personal data, a growing phenomenon that must be closely monitored.

How can you help loved ones protect themselves from phishing?

If the person you want to protect is not used to technology, there are habits you can encourage them to adopt that require no knowledge of computer links, how reliable sources are or how authentic or secure platforms or sites are.

Tell them that when they receive a message about an emergency, a benefit they could receive or a problem:



Help them to understand that if it’s a real message, the institution that sent it will contact them again and that there’s no hurry—especially in these unsettled times when everyone is being more lenient with others. If they are concerned and want to check whether the message is real, offer to call the institution that claims to have sent it, or do so with the person.

Protecting tablets matters too!

With the popularity of tablets, few people think about protecting this everyday tool from malicious actions on the Internet. As with all other devices, however, the threat is indeed real. Invite your loved one to get comprehensive, high-quality antivirus software.

If the person you wish to help is in isolation and needs computer assistance, there are companies you can contact who offer phone support.

Our modern communication methods have seen the emergence of a new concern—cybersecurity. Feel free to pick up the phone and call your loved ones. It’s the easy way to get news, reassure them and be sure they’re doing okay.

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