Yes, you read the headline correctly. The coronavirus may cause your computer to become infected. Let us explain... First, it's important to understand what a virus is. Viruses exist in both health and technology industries. The two types of viruses, although different, act in a similar way. They infect a host, i.e. your body or your computer, multiply rapidly, and cause harm to the host. Viruses, both human and cyber, are a constant threat.
Online Spread of Coronavirus Viruses
So, what does this mean with all the coronavirus hype in 2020? It means that cyber criminals can capitalize on the excitement. According to Forbes "Cyber criminals [are] developing dangerous malware campaigns to target millions of us under cover of the looming pandemic." These attackers are sending malware-laced e-mails with "breaking" coronavirus news and other information. New, malicious websites related to the coronavirus are also skyrocketing. The virus is a perfect topic to hide behind because people are afraid and want more information.
Things to look out for:
- Make sure your online info about coronavirus is from a credible source before you believe it.
- If you’re prompted to download anything, it's likely to be malicious.
- Check the spelling and grammar of the e-mail. If it seems off, assume it’s not legitimate.
- Don’t open attachments from unknown senders.
- Make sure that links in e-mails are legitimate and not part of a phishing scheme or a Trojan download. You can either hover over a link to check the URL or copy and paste the URL in your web browser.
Your online actions can expose your computer to malicious software. The software can then access your information, credentials, and other online activity.
How Can You Protect Yourself from Viruses?
You don’t want to fall victim to these coronavirus related attacks. Your best bet is to do your own research. Use reputable websites to gather your own information. Unsolicited information is rarely trustworthy. Unless the information is coming from a valid and trusted sender, you should ignore it. Use caution and common sense online. If you’re not sure if your e-mail is secure, or you’d like to play it safe, contact a professional that specializes in e-mail!
Safe, Encrypted E-mail
At Pen Publishing Interactive, online security is a top priority. As Microsoft Partners, we offer Office 365 products including Exchange Online e-mail services. These cloud-based e-mail services, by Microsoft – an industry leader, help you stay secure. We also offer add-on e-mail security through Office 365 Advance Threat Protection. Whether you have e-mail through us or another vendor, we're ready to help keep you safe.