Personal Cybersecurity During The COVID-19 Pandemic: Tips to Protect You and Your Family
Visit and bookmark the Oswald COVID-19 Resource Center.
Like us, we’re certain you’ve been impacted by the media activity that has inundated the online news reports, your favorite websites and your email accounts.
During these uncertain times, most of us are eager to stay current on the latest news about the global pandemic, especially about how to protect ourselves and our family. Many also find themselves in the new role of educator as schools have closed and learning has moved to virtual platforms and applications – all accessed from home computers and networks.
In our quest to be informed, or as we receive more updates and emails in our inboxes, we may accidentally click on links that appear legitimate and official…but beware.
On March 20, the FBI Field Office issued an alert advising on a rise in fraud schemes related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Cyber theft has been growing exponentially over the past few years, and criminals look to prey on individuals and families especially during critical periods, and their times of need.
It is always vital to practice cybersecurity, however, it is especially necessary, through this event.
The following is a link to the official FBI public service announcement (Alert No I-03020-PSA):
They specifically note the following:
- Watch for ‘fake’ emails from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other similar organizations
- Beware of ‘phishing emails,’ that ask you to verify your personal information
- Watch for offers of counterfeit treatments or equipment
Just as we have increased our physical hygiene to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing and various hygiene tactics, in addition to those recommended by the FBI, we recommend the following best practices in maintaining your daily digital hygiene:
- Update your system and device software regularly
- Don’t click on links without first verifying their authenticity
- NEVER provide your personal information requested by email or robocall
- Verify web addresses by typing them into your browser
- Check for errors contained within links, e.g. a web address that should end in “.gov” ends in ‘.com,’ instead
As the FBI indicates, if you believe you are a victim of cybercrime or have suspicious activity to report, you should visit the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.
Contact Oswald Personal Risk
Finally, several insurance carriers are now providing personal cyber protection, which protects clients against many types of cybercrime, including cyber extortion, online fraud, and systems attack. Of great value is that these offerings include assistance through a cyber help/advice line, monitored by specialists who can help with questions about preventing or responding to a cyber event. The personal risk advisors at Oswald Companies stand ready to respond to your insurance and risk management needs. Please contact us and let us know how we might assist.
About the Author:
Kim Lucarelli, CIC
Director of Sales, Personal Client Management, Sr. Vice President
Note: This communication is for informational purposes only. Although every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, Oswald makes no guarantees of any kind and cannot be held liable for any outdated or incorrect information. View our communications policy.