Antivirus protection and computer security has become increasingly important due to the conditions set by COVID-19. More people than ever are working and learning remotely, and more devices are being utilized to access online and corporate data. Compounding this challenging situation, cybercriminals and phishing email attacks are on the rise.
Bad actors, hackers, cyber criminals−call them what you will−continue to operate and press the button of those that are vulnerable. Phishing scams are rampant with a new crop of COVID-19 focused emails. Phishing, which was already a major concern, is going from bad to worse. Since the end of February 2020, phishing emails have spiked by more than 600%. In addition to this shocking report, the FBI reported an increase of four times the number of cyber attacks occurring during this pandemic.
So what can you do to protect yourself, your family and your remote workers? Two very simple, but mindful, areas of focus can help.
- Awareness – Use resources to help you stay on top of breaking trends. A great one is available from the Department of Homeland Security’s CISA. These alerts keep a daily record of major breaches and safeguarding tips sent right to your email.
- Extra Protection – Antivirus is not enough. You need to consider a layered approach. Use VPN software when connecting and make sure its up-to-date. VPN software enables remote workers to connect to their professional servers and applications and protects home users from unsecured public Wi-Fi networks, where hackers can easily “scrape” a connection to obtain sensitive information like passwords, email addresses, and search data. Using VPN software and keeping it up to date lowers the risk of cyber criminals and significantly bolsters your protection.
Although more attacks may be occurring, cyber criminals will still always target those easiest to manipulate. Be mindful of using a mixture of technology-focused best practices and practical tips. Technology meets awareness in the middle to help you stay protected and sane during these tumultuous times.