Have you seen any emails or social media posts during lockdown which have made you pause or wonder – is that real? Is that true? Should I investigate this further?
Please be very careful with any email or post which looks too good to be true, which you were not expecting or which makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. LISTEN TO YOUR GUT FEELING.
Our Bristol cyber security team are contacting every client warning them that COVID-19 has brought out the worst – as well as the best – of behaviours. It’s a ripe time for us to be scammed because of the strange situation which is sweeping the world.
Scammers and online con artists are masters at exploiting feelings of guilt, fear and an inbuilt need to help. Indeed the evidence shows that phishing emails alone had risen by over 600 per cent in March – goodness knows what the figures are now!
These scams follow particular patterns, they may be trying to get you to invest in a COVID-19 ‘cure’ which does not exist to steal your money, or they may be trying to capture your log-in details and financial information (or both) or they may be hooks to entice you to inadvertently download malware.
Our partner Barracuda Networks recorded 137 incidents around phishing scams in January this year, rising to 1,188 in February and then rising to a staggering 9,116 in March. These risks are continuously escalating.
These cyber criminals are not just operating via email. Scammers across the board are upping their activity across social media – selling fake goods claiming to cure the virus or protect you via supplements or ‘anti-virus kits’.
On the phone by claiming similar things, particularly if you are older or vulnerable – remember taking these calls often leads to more of the same. There’s a huge risk of being on a ‘suckers’ list’.
In person, scamming people on the doorstep by offering to do their shopping, taking the money and not being seen again.
All of us have to be vigilant to support our communities at this time from the opportunistic criminal.
At work, if you are concerned about your cyber security at a time when the risks could not be higher – please get in touch. We have the skills and the solutions to put your mind at rest – and the minds of your team who are working from home and maybe scared about inadvertently clicking on the wrong thing with very serious consequences for your business.
Please remember Coronavirus will change the way we all do business – are you ready?