2020 takes a significant place in the history books. A global pandemic of unprecedented proportions has changed the lives of millions of people as they entered a new way of life and social distancing became the norm. Political campaigns during this Presidential election year in the US have taken a back seat to health and economic initiatives to sustain our country during the Coronavirus outbreak.
The internet has become our lifeline. Until recently, warnings about the health and security risks of too much use were prevalent, but now, social media and the internet have become our proverbial new normal. Hashtags like #StayHome, #socialdistancing and #Quaranteam are a sign of our times: families are working and learning at home, medical patients are quarantined from loved ones, physical gatherings are strongly discouraged, travel has significantly declined, gas prices and car insurance are at an all-time low. As virtual workers and learners, more people are navigating technology in more ways than ever before.
Sadly but not surprisingly, the internet has also provided many opportunities for scammers and attackers to exploit our new normal. In these times of COVID-19 and cybersecurity, the threats are real.
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a warning regarding new COVID-19 themed scams. The agency advised the public to protect their computers and their phones by using security software and installing updates. The FTC urges businesses to use multifactor authentication and create backups to protect against data loss. Also, the United States Department of Justice announced its first action in federal court to combat against online fraud related to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
I encourage everyone to stay safe and vigilant during these trying times. To echo the general sentiment, we will get through this together, if we work together.
1Source: Federal Trade Commission – Keep Calm and Avoid Coronavirus Scams https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/sites/www.consumer.ftc.gov/files/keep_calm_infographic_en_letter_508.pdf
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