Covid-19 – Fraud & Cybercrime
The public are being urged to follow online safety advice as evidence emerges that criminals are exploiting the Coronavirus online.
Experts from the National Cyber Security Centre have revealed a range of attacks being perpetrated online as cyber criminals seek to exploit COVID-19.
Keep up to date
You should always turn to trusted sources of information during a situation like the Covid-19 pandemic. These include:
- Action Fraud – for the latest cyber and fraud threats
- National Cyber Security Centre – for the latest cyber security advice
- Public Health England – for the latest information about the UK response
- National Health Service (NHS) for the latest health advice
Many of these services are on key social media platforms as well.
DO NOT TRUST any links or attachments sent to you in any unsolicited electronic communication. This includes from friends.
Please take time to think before you share any messages forwarded to you from friends. You could be spreading false information or even scams, fraud and malicious software. There are lots of ‘clickbait’ headlines that try to scare people into reading articles and sharing them, or even taking action.
Turn to a trusted source of information to verify anything.
Techniques seen since the start of the year include bogus emails with links claiming to have important updates, which once clicked on lead to devices being infected.
These ‘phishing’ attempts have been seen in several countries and can lead to loss of money and sensitive data.
The following are key threats that we and others are seeing at the moment during the Covid-19 pandemic:
Improve Your Security
Take the time to review your personal cyber security during this situation. In particular, remember that some simple steps can massively improve your cyber security. Cyber criminals are frequently lazy and if they find a hard target they will move on quickly. You should:
- Use strong Passwords for key accounts and a Password Manager for everything else
- Implement Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) on any account
- Increase your privacy online
- Don’t use public WiFi for sensitive tasks without a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
- Protect your devices with antivirus solutions
- Install updates to devices quickly – ensure auto-updates are on
- Have a backup of your data – ideally configure automated backups
For more detailed advice on cyber security please visit our dedicated pages: