(RightWing.org) – Hopefully, the pandemic that’s made 2020 such a terrible year will be over soon, but don’t breathe a sigh of relief just yet. Cybersecurity could be the next big worry, and the ways we’ve adapted to COVID could make us even more vulnerable to electronic attack.
Tens of millions of Americans are using the internet more, whether they work from home, use Zoom to keep in touch, or do more shopping online. That creates more opportunities for hackers and scammers, and the greatest concern centers around those working from home. Around 82% of businesses let employees use their own devices for work – but 72% don’t provide anti-malware software for them, creating millions of insecure paths into corporate systems. So far this year, 24% of organizations report having to pay unexpected costs because of malware or security breaches.
Phishing is also on the rise. Criminals are taking advantage of the confusion to send out convincing-looking fake emails asking for bank details to “unlock your account.” If you provide the details, the attackers will empty the account.
Lockdowns Multiply Problems
Breaches while working from home have been behind most of this year’s security issues, but that’s not the only problem. Lockdowns have forced companies to scale up their online business, and often, security hasn’t kept up with that expansion. Many companies use Virtual Private Networks to provide extra security – but if a VPN isn’t properly configured, and updated regularly, it can be less secure than a standard internet connection. The FBI says reported cybercrime incidents have almost quadrupled since the start of the pandemic.
Many cybersecurity vendors offer free security checks for your devices. To check your device for known viruses and spyware, visit the National CyberSecurity Alliance for a list of vendors offering free checks. https://t.co/jO94J3pct4 pic.twitter.com/LNVwg3Q6Th
— FBI SanAntonio (@FBISanAntonio) November 29, 2020
With so many people working, shopping and doing other things online, more personal data is zooming around the internet than ever before – 59% of the entire human race is now online. All that data, from Social Security numbers to bank details and badly chosen passwords, is invaluable to scammers and hackers. Before you go online again, make sure you’re using strong passwords, your security software is up to date and you know how to spot the most common email scams.
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