Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) has continuously urged the public to take precautionary measures against the virus, including social isolation. For this reason, most U.S. businesses have adopted work-from-home practices, with at least 40% of the workforce now working remotely, as reported by Stanford University News. In fact, a significant portion of those working remotely intend to stay remote even after the pandemic. While remote working protects your workforce from the virus, it puts your business network system at risk of scams, which have become prevalent during the pandemic.
Here are three tips to protect your business from pandemic scams.
Since most people are looking for information concerning the pandemic online, cybercriminals have taken advantage of the subject to steal data and money through malicious links. For instance, between January and April 2020 alone, Interpol detected about 48,000 malicious URLs related to COVID-19. Because COVID-19 is not the only subject that hackers can use, ensure that you look out for any links that don’t look authentic. If you receive an email instructing you to click on a link, make sure you verify its source as well as authenticity before clicking on it. Avoid opening spam messages, too, as they could be a way of letting hackers into the network system. Additionally, train your employees to be vigilant and avoid clicking on every link or logging into every website that pops up.
According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), most scammers use spoof numbers to call and steal money from you. Particularly, spoofing involves a hacker masquerading as a legitimate party, say, a supplier, by stealing identity information such as phone numbers and names. In other words, you should not always trust the number you see on the caller ID even if you recognize it. To avoid losses through scam calls, avoid answering any call that appears on your screen before verifying the identity of the caller. For instance, you can call the number back using another secure line and find out who’s on the other side. In some cases, it could be a robocall, but if it’s a person, don’t fall for it either. More specifically, don’t give out any personal information such as your Social Security number or passwords no matter how friendly or genuine the caller sounds.
Protect Your Business Network
Due to the adoption of working from home, most businesses don’t yet have a strong infrastructure for reliable cybersecurity. This is because some employees are even using their personal computers to log into the company network, which increases the risk of cyberattacks. One way to enhance your security is by providing your employees with secure laptops and instructing them not to mix work and personal hardware. Additionally, ensure your workers’ home Wi-Fi is secure and won’t be the loophole through which hackers get access to your network system. According to Security Magazine, some of the strategies you can use to protect your business include:
Educating your employees on how to maintain safety;
Installing anti-virus software and updating it regularly;
Using strong passwords and changing them regularly;
Installing a strong firewall; and
Backing up data to the cloud regularly.
While most of these measures won’t guarantee total cybersecurity, they will make it difficult for hackers to access your data and steal your money.
Use these three tips to protect your business from pandemic scams. At Hoffman Brown Company, we are always on the lookout for more information on how our clients can stay safe and protected. We are ready and waiting to help you find reliable and responsible insurance for your business. Contact us today to get started!