Many people who are stuck at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic have resorted to online activities to keep up-to-date and have fun as well, but Google wants them to know that they are at risk from scammers and hackers.
Many companies have been offering security tips to their customers during the lockdown period. Google also compiled several helpful security tips in a recent blog post to help during COVID-19 lockdown.
Mark Risher who is the Senior Director for Account Security, Identity, and Abuse at Google explains that these tips are timely. He wrote:
“Our Threat Analysis Group continually monitors for sophisticated, government-backed hacking activity and is seeing new COVID-19 messaging used in attacks, and our security systems have detected a range of new scams such as phishing emails posing as messages from charities and NGOs battling COVID-19, directions from “administrators” to employees working from home, and even notices spoofing healthcare providers.”
In addition to this, we had reported how Gmail, Google’s messaging software, has also been battling COVID-19 related malware and phishing attacks.
While Google has been stepping up its security, users have a major role to play in protecting themselves. Below are key security tips from Google to protect yourself during the COVID-19 pandemic:
– Time Up! Google Pulls Plug On Play Store Subscription Scams With New Policy
– Zoom Finally Starts Rolling Out Security Features To Fix Vulnerabilities
– One Tech Executive Trying To Escape Coronavirus Forgot How To Unlock His Underground Bunker
— Verify the source of emails before clicking links. Many phishing attempts succeed because the victim had not checked the URL properly. Also, avoid filling out personal details on links sent via mails. Instead, visit the correct government or health website for this.
To further verify the validity of a message you have received; copy and paste parts of it and search on Google. Likely, if it is a scam, someone may have reported it before.
— For employees working from home, company emails should be used for company-related work. This is important because there may be some security features enabled on your office email that may not be on your personal email.
Thus, never use your personal email for anything related to your company. You could jeopardise the entire system.
— Ensure that you familiarise yourself with all the security features of your video conference software. It is especially important for IT admins to have this in mind as the safety of the company’s virtual calls falls on them.
— Install updates as soon as you get notifications. To better understand why this is important, see this article: Why You Should Stop Ignoring Your Smartphone And PC Update Notifications.
— Monitor what children are doing online. There are many tools to do this on different software. For example, Family Link helps parents set restrictions for children.
Stay safe as you support the effort of curbing the COVID-19 spread around the world.
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