Coronavirus has forced millions of people around the world to stay at home and work from home. This has led to an exponential increase in the demand for video conferencing tools, online learning and telehealth calls. Hackers are aware of that and are looking for new ways to target remote workers.
We have already seen several email scams related to COVID-19 as well as several phishing attacks. The casual approach of remote workers towards cybersecurity makes it even easier for hackers to gain access to your data. Lack of security updates, using weak passwords and connecting to the same network makes you even more vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks.
In this article, you will learn about six ways in which the coronavirus outbreak has transformed our digital lives.
- Video Conferencing
With businesses asking their employees to work from home, there is a huge demand for video conferencing tools. We have seen platforms like Zoom become extremely popular in a matter of a few weeks as it went from 10 million users to 200 million users. Whether it is corporate meetings, religious gatherings, or online classrooms, everyone is using these video conferencing tools.
Due to this, these video conferencing tools have received extra attention from hackers. In fact, we have already seen hackers exploit security flaws in Zoom and steal users’ account credentials. That is not all, they have also managed to access business meetings and wrote racial and ethnic messages on whiteboards. Moreover, attackers have registered more than 1700 zoom-related domains, according to a report.
Security experts suggest that you should never make your zoom meetings open. Next, issue a meeting ID and password protect it. Send participants their meeting ID and passwords for safe communication. Never post-meeting links at a publicly accessible website including your business website. Even if you must use meeting links, send them via email to every participant. You can also look for other zoom alternatives such as Skype, Microsoft Teams or GoToMeeting until security vulnerabilities are patched.
- Online Shopping
Due to lockdown in all major cities around the world, we are seeing an exponential increase in online shopping. Whether users need electronic appliances or grocery items, they head on to their favorite online store and place the order. If you are using a food delivery app, make sure you download it through official app stores or trustworthy sources.
Ken Liao, president of the cybersecurity strategy at Abnormal Security predicted that “Cybercriminals would try to take full advantage of scarcity by sending phishing emails disguised as promotions for hard-to-get items, such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and paper towels. Also, be on the lookout for counterfeit items.”
Never click links to promotions, even if it looks tempting. Instead, go to the official company page and check whether the promotion is real or fake. Avoid ordering products from newer and lesser-known online stores and always place orders on official websites or popular ecommerce stores to minimize the risk of fraud. E-commerce stores should take steps to protect dedicated servers, databases and data centers as they store sensitive user data.
- Online Courses
Due to COVID-19, educational institutions such as schools and colleges are closed. To ensure that students do not have to pay a hefty price for academic loss, they are using online classes to make up for the lost time. With kids in front of digital devices, they are more likely to get exposed to inappropriate content. That is why it is important for parents to use parental control tools to minimize the risk.
Parents can also use the content filter option provided by most routers. This allows you to create a blacklist and a whitelist. This way, you can control what content is presented in front of your child and what content is restricted or blocked. You can also limit the screen on time on your kids or keep a close eye on online activities of your kid from parental control apps. All this can go a long way in ensuring smoother learning for your child while minimizing the negative impacts of technology.
- Video Streaming Apps
Netflix recently released an app called Netflix Party which allows its users to watch Netflix remotely with their loved ones. Even though the app is initially made available for desktops and laptops along with mobile devices, you can also install it on TVs. If you are installing it on TVs, you need to be extra cautious and follow all the IoT security rules. Treat your TV as a computer. Install firmware updates as you install the security updates on your computers with considering avastvpn worth it.
- Social Media
With most people staying at home and having more free time than ever before, social media usage has increased substantially. Many people are busy playing games on social networking websites. Musicians are playing music and releasing music videos to keep the audience entertained during quarantine.
There has been a drastic increase in the number of messages being exchanged on social media. You are more likely to receive a message from an unknown person who claims to be your friend. Never trust any such message and call the friend or send an email to confirm before replying to such messages. Such messages are breeding ground for phishing scams and malware infections and you should refrain from forwarding those messages to others.
- Telehealth Calls
Last but certainly not least is telehealth calls. Since, we are living in a state of lockdown, receiving medical care can become problematic. That is why many hospitals have started offering telehealth facilities. You can get in touch with a healthcare professional by making a phone call. Tell them your symptoms and they will prescribe the medicine.
Avoid sharing sensitive personal details on the phone when you receive a fake call from a hospital especially when you have not booked an appointment in advance. Hackers are using this pandemic as an opportunity and are trying to fool people by pretending as they are speaking from medical companies or medical facilities.
How did COVID-19 affect your digital life? Let us know in the comments section below.