Stay ‘cybersafe’ during Covid-19

As a result of Covid-19, millions of people are now working from home, companies are actively tackling the additional strain on their Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and other IT systems.

This ‘stress testing’ has revealed both minor and more significant vulnerabilities across many businesses’ IT systems across the UK and beyond.

Some organisations are finding out that their systems were not designed for their employees to work offsite, whilst cyber-criminals are looking for ways to take advantage of the situation.

To counteract your risk, ensure that your staff are all aware of cyber risk and know what they can personally do to help keep your business safe.

This includes setting up secure passwords, not opening suspicious emails and reporting anything untoward to the person responsible for your IT.

In order to remain vigilant against cyber-crime you should be aware of the types of activities cyber-criminals are doing at present to look after yourself, your employees and your business.

Bogus important update

During these unprecedented times, many of us are following our government-led coronavirus updates but among them, fake news is being spread far and wide.

The National Cyber Security Centre has recently warned of “bogus emails with links claiming to have important updates, which once clicked on lead to devices being infected.” Many of these emails offer paid-for access to a live map of local COVID-19 cases. To avoid getting caught out, seek out news from legitimate sites and avoid clicking on emails that seem suspicious.

To get a quick indication of a scam sender, if you right-click on the email before opening it and click ‘Forward’, you will see the email sender in the ‘From’ box. Should this appear as a lot of jumbled up letters or includes suspicious wording – it’s probably not legitimate.

Online shopping scams

Due to a rise in demand for hygiene and protection products such as facemasks, hand sanitiser and other products, dodgy dealers have spotted an opportunity for their latest scam. The majority of reports reveal that shoppers have bought these products online, only for them never to arrive. Alongside this, there are a worrying amount of cases where products are being sold online which contain dangerous or banned ingredients. In the murky world of the darknet, cybercriminals are working together to distribute these far and wide using COVID-19 discounts and specials.

To protect yourself, consider the source of the product, is it a trusted site you’ve visited before? Do they have positive customer reviews? In this current situation, these types of products are difficult to come by, so if the offer seems too good to be true then it probably is.

Are they WHO they say they are? 

Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned of criminals disguising themselves as the WHO to steal money or sensitive information.

As well as digital methods such as emails and fake websites, they also target people through phone calls, text messages and even via emails.

If you are contacted by the WHO, there are several red flags to look out for including asking for sensitive information, provoking a sense of urgency and requesting donations.

The WHO clarified on their website:

The World Health Organization will:

  • never ask for your username or password to access safety information
  • never email attachments you didn’t ask for
  • never ask you to visit a link outside of
  • never charge money to apply for a job, register for a conference, or reserve a hotel
  • never conduct lotteries or offer prizes, grants, certificates or funding through email.”

To ensure your information doesn’t get into the wrong hands, never rush into any action, regardless of the sense of urgency the communication tries to evoke.

Stay safe

In these worrying and uncertain times, we understand that the last thing you need is having to deal with the repercussions of a cyber attack.

For businesses with cyber insurance, we’re happy to run through the terms of your policy with you to ensure you understand what you’re covered for.

For those not covered, if you want to discuss adding cyber cover to your existing business policy, we can help with that too. Just call us on us on 01733 325555 or email