Six key posts to help you stay safe online during Cybersecurity Awareness Month and beyond

This year, recognising Cybersecurity Awareness Month and the message that it carries is particularly important because – along with disrupting many aspects of our everyday lives – COVID-19 has led to a spate of new cyber threats globally. According to a recent report, hackers have exploited the pandemic through targeting businesses and consumers via coronavirus-related malicious apps, malware and phishing campaigns that focus on topics such as testing, treatment, and remote work.

With many of us continuing to work from home and using the internet a lot more than we used to, it’s important to take the time to familiarise yourself with cybersecurity best practice to make sure that you don’t fall victim to fraud.

Throughout this year, we’ve explored a number of coronavirus and cybersecurity related topics to keep you informed of the security challenges you might face when using the Internet and what measures to consider in order to stay safe. From staying safe when using Zoom to spotting delivery scams, in this blog we recap six of our previous posts to help you protect your data.

How can I stay safe when using Zoom?

As a result of the pandemic, we have had to limit our contact with others as much as possible, which has resulted in a surge in online meetings. Video conferencing apps have allowed us to stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues, and stay productive. One particular app, Zoom, has surged in popularity among businesses and consumers alike due to its compatibility with most devices, as well as accessibility and ease of use. However, as the number of Zoom users grew, so did stories about intruders gatecrashing meetings to cause mischief or steal data. In this blog, we share five best practices to follow to ensure that your data will stay secure while using the app.

How can I protect myself from cyberattacks while working from home?

Working from home has become the norm for many of us due to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, it’s unlikely that your home network or devices are as protected as the infrastructure in the office. Therefore, it’s important to take necessary steps to stay cyber safe. From securing your home Internet connection, to updating your software regularly and setting up two-factor authentication, this blog looks into the steps you should take in order to protect yourself from cyberattacks while working from home.

How to tell if a browser update is genuine

Researchers have recently reported an uptake of browser update scams whereby fake ‘update your browser’ web pages or pop-up windows can trick you into installing malicious software on your device. Internet browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer often make security patches available, but if you get an update notification from a website that does not appear genuine, then it could be coming from a fraudster. There are several ways to spot whether an update is genuine – read our blog to find out what these are.

Can I use a VPN on my mobile device and how do I pick a safe one?

One way to secure your private network when working remotely – and especially using public WiFi – is to use a virtual private network (VPN). It keeps your device’s IP address and physical location private by creating an encrypted tunnel which your data will pass through when surfing the internet. With numerous VPN applications available for your mobile device, it’s important to select one that is safe. From avoiding free VPNs to looking for one with good reputation, there are a few things to watch out for when choosing a secure VPN. Find out what these are in our blog.

How to spot a delivery scam

During the first few months of lockdown, many of us turned to online shopping in order to safely purchase essential goods without having to visit crowded shops. However, fraudsters saw this as another opportunity to trick people into sharing their personal information such as names, address, and payment details. In fact, delivery company FedEx has warned customers of fraudulent shipping updates sent via text messages, impersonating the company. Hackers use these so-called SMS phishing attacks to steal your personal information by tricking you with a text message that often directs you to a fake website. Fortunately, there are a few things to remember that will help you avoid being smished, and we discuss these in more detail in this blog.

How to spot a cryptocurrency scam

Another area that cybercriminals are now increasingly taking advantage of is cryptocurrency. How does this type of fraud work? Well, in short, hackers will try and trick crypto purchasers into sending money to them. These scammers use a variety of tricks – from setting up fake cryptocurrency websites that closely resemble the originals, through to getting users to download fake apps. As with any scam, there are red flags which can indicate that the seller is not legitimate. Read our full blog to find out what these are.

If you found these topics interesting, we have a number of other posts available that provide useful information around online security. Let’s celebrate Cybersecurity Awareness Month by being vigilant of the threats out there and becoming more cyber aware! If there’s a topic that we haven’t tackled on JustAskThales but you’re interested in finding out more about, let us know in the comments below.