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#TechPage News: Cybercrime- Do not click on any links

By Mpiletso Motumi Time of article published Apr 24, 2020

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Cybercrime has been showing its ugly head in more creative ways now that the national lockdown has forced people to work from home.

Carey Van Vlaanderen, chief executive at ESET shared some valuable information to navigating the new office and protecting oneself from potential cyber criminals in the age of online meetings and get togethers.

"The basic rules of protection apply to everyone, from a beginner to someone who has been using these platforms for work purposes. Most of these issues that we are seeing at the moment is cybercriminals trying to find sensitive personal information or some financial gain. A lot of the time they are sending out some kind of malicious link on email, social media and Whatsapp."

Van Vlaanderen advised that people should not click on any link.

She said there were a lot of things people could do to avoid the criminals.

"Most people have a home router. Checking your settings and change username and password on router is one of the main places to help yourself be secure. That is the first place any criminal will look to jump into your network. Once they are within the network a lot of it is open to the devices connected."

She said cyber criminals could put something onto a network and leave it there to use at a later stage.

"It's important to make sure you have a reputable internet security software on as many devices as you can. A lot of vulnerabilities are known so the continual updates from Microsoft for instance and Zoom, they send them out to patch for the issues they have found. It's important to update as much as you can all the software you use."

Van Vlaanderen said most attacks were launched on known vulnerabilities that have not been touched for some time. She added that the more educated people were about cyber security, the better it was for them.

"We do find that a lot of these attacks are very sophisticated and seem legitimate. There is a responsibility for employers to teach employees what to look out for but the business should also have software and technical means to allow a safer way for employees to work from home through a virtual private network (VPN). It's a safe encrypted tunnel of information."

She said companies could also use 2FA (two factor authentication) for further safety.

"There is so much to worry about with Covid19. We have a theme of trying to enjoy censored technology. People must just be aware. Set software you use all the time to automatic updates and make sure when updates pop up you don't do it from a link or email."

She added that people should stay weary of any suspicious activity.

"Check websites, make phonecalls. People are impersonating so check and type it in or even send an email. Cyber criminals will exploit your emotions and this happens with any kind of world issue. Think practically and make sure they aren't playing on your emotions."

How to stay safe:

Even in this remote-work era (and not only when it comes to videoconferencing), we shouldn’t overlook the privacy and security side of things. No matter how slick and feature-rich any software is, it may bring new threats, and with them come added responsibilities. The most effective measures you can take to protect your security and privacy when using Zoom include:

- Password-protecting your meetings and/or vetting meeting participants with the help of Zoom’s ‘Waiting Room‘ feature.

- Limiting screen sharing to the host

- Running Zoom’s latest version

- Refraining from sharing links or meeting IDs on social media

- Consider using meeting IDs rather than links when inviting other participants, as there’s been a surge in malicious Zoom-themed domains that seek to capitalize on the app’s unexpected success.

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