The novel coronavirus has changed the way we all live our daily lives. Media outlets have given massive coverage to the pandemic to the point that we’re all being overwhelmed by information. Unfortunately, this is exactly what hackers want. They’ve used the current situation to launch phishing attacks against a public that still hasn’t completely come to terms with the pandemic.
Of course, some of the fears about the pandemic are unfounded, but others are very much a reality. Hackers use misinformation along with the herd mentality that arises when people are uncertain about something. In this piece, we’ll take a look at how hackers try to deceive people and what you can do to protect your privacy during COVID-19.
Don’t Click on Fake Ads and Don’t Respond to Scammers
Cybercriminals use ads that claim to provide cures and medicine for the coronavirus. Such ads often also talk about the steps that people should take to stay safe from the virus. Of course, none of the information they provide is accurate. The main purpose of such ads is to create an environment of fear among the readers so that they’re easily manipulated.
Most of these emails and ads feature a warning that the “medicine” in question is in limited supply and that you need to act now to get it. This is a tactic used to create a sense of urgency to get you to click the link without thinking.
The best way to not get duped by these ads is to not click them. Don’t click them even if you know they’re fake. If you do click them, they may install malware on your device. Moreover, if the ad itself doesn’t give you malware, it might convince you to buy a fake product.
Use an ad-blocker if you’re unable to ignore ads or use your web browser’s settings to stop loading images. This may keep some ads from appearing.
Use a VPN Service
Using a VPN service under the current situation is the best thing you can do. A VPN service will hide your internet activity and your IP address so hackers won’t know what kind of ads they should show you. Moreover, since many websites and apps are trying to collect more data on you, a VPN is the only way to stop them in their tracks. Some VPNs even come with malware and phishing protection which adds an extra layer of security you need online.
Since there are many pretenders and few contenders in the VPN industry you should do plenty of research before signing up for a VPN. A great place to start is a trusted source like this guide to the top 10 best VPN service providers: https://securitygladiators.com/10-best-vpn-service-providers/.
Secure Mobile Devices
There’s no doubt that much of the information we consume is via smartphones now. However, for some reason, some people believe that viruses mostly affect desktops running Windows. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is why it’s extremely important to use strong passwords on all of your devices.
Always exercise caution before downloading apps even from the Google Play Store. Some of the productivity apps and games on the Google Play Store and other app resources can infect your device with malware.
Antivirus applications have become a necessity now especially if you use Android and Windows as your two main operating systems. We recommend you use an antivirus application for all your internet-enabled devices. Such apps help users avoid hackers and keep them from taking control of your devices.
Security products like antivirus applications and firewalls also stop hackers from taking a look at your financial and personal information. These products, along with a VPN, also hide your location from hackers.
Another important thing is to keep your apps updated. The days of installing an antivirus product and forgetting about it are truly over. Update your apps often to ensure that you’re always protected.
Protecting your privacy from hackers during COVID-19 isn’t hard. All you need are the right tools like a VPN service and an antivirus product. These tools combined with not clicking on ads will help to keep you safe online during the pandemic.