In addition to helping you navigate the volatility and uncertainty in the markets, we also wanted to take a moment and share some information on how to protect yourself from hackers and cybercriminals. Unfortunately, they have been leveraging the fear connected with the growing COVID-19 pandemic as a tool to steal passwords and data.
Cybercriminals are widely distributing mass emails posing as legitimate medical and or health organizations, as well financial institutions, trying to take advantage of social engineering tactics.
Here are some helpful reminders that can help you combat cybercriminals.
- Beware of online requests for personal information. A coronavirus-themed email that seeks personal information like your Social Security number or login information is a phishing scam. Legitimate government agencies won’t ask for that information. Never respond to the email with your personal data.
- Check the email address or link. You can inspect a link by hovering your mouse button over the URL to see where it leads. Sometimes, it’s obvious the web address is not legitimate. But keep in mind phishers can create links that closely resemble legitimate addresses. Delete the email.
- Watch for spelling and grammatical mistakes. If an email includes spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors, it’s likely a sign you’ve received a phishing email. Delete it.
- Look for generic greetings. Phishing emails are unlikely to use your name. Greetings like “Dear sir or madam” signal an email is not legitimate.
- Avoid emails that insist you act now. Phishing emails often try to create a sense of urgency or demand immediate action. The goal is to get you to click on a link and provide personal information right now. Instead, delete the message.
- Social engineering will be on the rise. The use of deception to manipulate individuals into divulging confidential or personal information that may be used for fraudulent purposes is sometimes hard to spot right away. Respectfully asking to verify the identity of people you are speaking with is especially important during a time like this.
It’s best to go directly to reliable sources for information. That includes government offices and health care agencies.
In these unprecedented times, it is important that we are looking out for all aspects of your lives, financial, digital and personal. As always, if you wish to discuss your plan, your investments, or merely want to talk, please do not hesitate to call or email.