Covid-19 and Internet Safety
It may seem that a virus pandemic and internet safety would be strange bedfellows; however, it is important to note that there are many nefarious individuals that would love to give your computer a virus that would steal your personal information and lead to losses beyond a couple days from work.
A friend of mine sent me an email that looked kinda weird. The email stated it was from the World Health Organization and that they were requesting a financial donation to assist with the Covid-19 pandemic. He noticed that when he moused over (moving the curser over) the “from” email it didn’t look like it would have come from WHO so he sent it to me to check out.
It brings up a good point that thieves tend to prey on kindhearted individuals that really want to help others. I decided to post this to our site and share it on our Facebook page so that all our friends and acquaintances would keep in mind the possibility of receiving an email such as this.
The following is what I would suggest for keeping yourself safe on the internet and not getting a “Covid-19” virus on your computer.
Before following a link, check the spelling of both the sender and the link.
You may see a misspelled name in the email address or the link. For example, you may receive an email from “The World Health Organization” linking to https://whho.int/coronavirus-update. Notice the extra H in whho. This email should be deleted.
Sometimes it is not possible to identify a malicious email just from the message. Don’t worry! Clicking a link or viewing an attachment is not enough to harm your computer. However, once you follow a link you must be very careful of two things.
If an email or link asks you to download a file, it is almost certainly malicious. Trusted organizations, banks, and similar establishments WILL NOT require you to download a file to your computer. Many people know that .exe files are the most dangerous. However, hackers have recently been using other executable file types, such .jar, to trick spam filters and users alike. Again, there is no reason a trusted organization should ask you to download and run any type of file.
If an email links to a page that asks for a login, it is safer to go to that website directly. For example, if you receive an email from your bank, do not follow the link. Instead, go to your bank’s website directly from your browser. If the email was legitimate, any information you need can be found there.
I hope the above will help you stay safe during this particular crisis. These points are good for natural disasters, global issues, and other humanitarian problems that make the national and world news.
Please stay safe and healthy. Please share with your friends and family to help keep them safe.
Bobby Fowler, Technical Director, CleanInter.net