5 TIPS BY GOOGLE TO KEEP USERS SAFE FROM CYBERCRIME DURING COVID-19
BY AARUSHI AGARWAL
With the spread of Coronavirus, the fear and uncertainty in the minds of people have also gone up significantly. People have started to feel vulnerable with regards to their health and financial conditions. However, there are some people who are exploiting these vulnerabilities and extorting money from others who fear the virus. There are false emails and messages circulating through social media asking people to donate for those who hit by the virus, they provide fake links which once opened it can hack into your systems. Sometimes even the people are manipulated to give their UPI information and then the cyber criminals spinoff the money. There are even cases where people are posing as WHO officials and are spreading fake news or sending out ransom emails threatening to infect the users if they don’t act accordingly.
Cybercrimes have increased by a considerable number with the spread of COVID 19 and in light of all of this; Google has realized some safety tips to prevent people from falling prey to such malpractices. These tips will help you spot these fraud mails and messages. Next time if you ever come across any mail, message or news report from an unknown source, make sure you keep all these pointers in mind to protect yourself from becoming a victim to cybercrime.
- Check the source
One common pattern followed by all scammers is that they pose as trusted and authoritative officials. If you ever come across any message or mail that looks like a mail from a credible government source, then instead of believing the mail and acting as per, you should refer to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) website to get your latest updates on COVID-19
- Donate directly through non-profit organizations
There are some scammers who send out emails and messages only to extort money from you. In times like these, we all want to help those in need and that’s a great spirit, to begin with. However, if you want to donate money to help the patients or the ones who have lost their bread and butter in this period, try to do it directly to trusted NGOs and not revert back to any of the emails that ask you for money
- Think twice before clicking one emails and links
Most of these spam emails and messages or alerts have call-to-action buttons. Think twice before you click on these buttons or links. The best way to check the credibility of these links is to by hovering over them and checking the URL for mistakes. The mistakes in these scam mail often related to spelling errors or no. For example; if the message claims to be a government message then the .gov will be misspelt like .gOv, etc.
- Know the modes they may use scammers to reach you
Most scammers use emails to send out spam messages but nowadays WhatsApp fake messages are always a very common mode for cybercrimes. Apart from that, scammers can reach yours through SMS, malicious websites and automated calls.
- Be cautious of who you are sharing your personal or financial information with
This is a point that you should remember in your everyday online activities. These scammers usually ask you to fill in your personal or financial details. Before you add your personal or financial information at any platform, take extra time just to evaluate the credibility of the message.