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18 March, 2020

Protect your identity and digital self in Corona times

Now, I firmly believe that humans are by and large good. And in times of crisis we tend to see people behave extraordinarily kind, brave and helpful. But unfortunately there is also some people who like to take advantage of difficult situations. And in these days it happens a lot online.

When you are scared it is easy to make mistakes you normally wouldn’t do. And this is something that unpleasant people are taking advantage of. There is an increase in COVID-19 (Corona virus) themed phishing messages and malware spreading as criminals are trying to exploit fears and thirst for information related to the virus outbreak.

Several organizations, including the World Health Organization, have reported an increase in phishing emails related to the COVID-19 outbreak. These emails are intended to trick recipients into:

  • clicking on links,
  • opening attachments,
  • or entering personal data for the purpose of perpetuating the spread of malicious software or to collect your personal financial information.
  • There are also numerous reports of fake websites claiming to give access to interactive real time data on COVID-19 spread, but instead it installs malware on your PC.

Be careful with anything related to COVID-19: emails, attachments, any social media posts, texts on your phone, websites, and phone calls. Here are some examples of topics to lookout for:

  • Check updated COVID-19 map in your city.
  • COVID-19 infection warnings from local school district.
  • CDC or World Health Organization emails or social media COVID-19 messaging.
  • Keeping your children safe from COVID-19.

Also be wary of pop-up ads and websites offering maps that claim to display outbreak patterns, stats, or metrics. The World Health Organization has posted this video on Youtube which is quite informative: The Do’s and Don’ts of Coronavirus

There will be numerous potential scams related to this, so please remember to stay smart, stay calm and stay kind. And always – THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK.

Always protect your bank details

If you are in quarantine and need help with your shopping. Never ever EVER give your bank card or credit card to someone you don’t know.

The police have gone out with a warning mainly aimed at elderly people. As the authorities have advised the elderly to avoid going out to shop for food and other necessities, it has, according to the police, led to cases of younger people calling to offer their services with the aim of keeping the money. Now this is of course a warning to be heard by anyone who is in quarantine.

But finally, if you see or hear of elderly and vulnerable people being taken advantage of – please speak out. Humanity depends on even the smallest acts of kindness – so make yours count 🙂

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The Newbie Team
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