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Cyber Safety During COVID-19

Cyber safety is the safe and responsible use of information and communication technology. It is about keeping information safe and secure, but also about being responsible with that information, being respectful of other people online, and using good ‘netiquette’.

The current outbreak of novel corona virus (COVID-19) has disturbing global health, economic, political and social systems, and there is another unseen threat rising in the digital space: the risk of cyber attacks. In this situation using this major disaster hackers/criminals/scammers play with human emotions by generating curiosity, fear and urgency through emails with attachments (.pdf, .ppt or .doc/Docx) on the pretext of sharing or obtaining information related to COVID19. Unfortunately there are many threat actors started to abuse the panic and discomfort of the COVID-19 pandemic to conduct special crafted malware and phishing attacks. A major factor arising from the actions of these threat actors are fake COVID-19 websites, phishing emails and malwares, which may promise a cure or treatment in exchange for personal information.

Following are the major threats users shall be aware off and take care:

  • Phishing Domains Threats: For instance, Indian Cybercrime Official released a list of potential Dangerous Coronavirus- related domains to be aware off, coronavirusstatus[.]space, coronavirus-map[.]com, canalcero[.]digital, coronavirus[.]zone, coronavirus-realtime[.]com, coronavirus[.]app, coronavirusaware[.]xyz, corona-virus[.]healthcare, survivecoronavirus[.]org, vaccinecoronavirus[.]com, coronavirus[.]cc, bestcoronavirusprotect[.]tk, coronavirusupdate[.]tk
  • Malware Threats: Cybercriminals are using a phishing campaigns telling victims they’ve come in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 and tricks them into downloading malware. The campaign pretends to be from a local hospital telling the recipient that they have been exposed to the Coronavirus and that they need to be tested.
  • Work from Home (WFH): Another threat following outrage of COVID19 giving sleepless nights to CISO’s, encouraging people to stay at home and help community stop spread of the corona virus. There is an increase in the number of cyber attacks on computers, routers and unprotected home networks used by employees who have switched to remote working due to the spread of COVID-19.

                            MENTAL HEALTH AND CYBERSECURITY

Cyber-bullying can obviously lead to negative mental health outcomes, the connection goes beyond that. In fact, the two are related in more ways than you might think. Mental health can have a critical impact on industry professionals and even affect cyber security practices. Even though, depression, burnout, and suicide are becoming more common among cyber security professionals. However, cyber security professionals seem to be especially susceptible to stress. Shortage of staff, professionals with previous mental backgrounds, like PTSD, and other accompanying health issues can cause to more stress and suicide risk.

Among Adults & Children: cyber-bullying may reason for internalize issues among adults (for example, the development of negative affective disorders, loneliness, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and somatic symptoms).cyber-bullying can reinforce negative believes and it will lead to low self-esteem.

Following tips helps to mitigate the risk of these attacks;

  • Know how to report phishing messages in your inbox: Phishing emails are real and can show up in our inboxes at any time. That’s why we all have to feel comfortable identifying and reporting them using the “Report Phishing” button in Outlook (or the equivalent feature in another email system) if a message seems suspicious
  • Get your information only from trusted sources: When looking for updates on COVID-19, refer to websites of trusted organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Remember that a public health organization will never send you an email asking for log-in credentials, a Social Security number, or payment details in exchange for access to information.
  • Think before you click: Make it a habit to carefully inspect all emails to verify their validity before you download any attachments or click on embedded links. Be especially watchful for invasive and aggressive advertising, which may be a ploy to frighten you into acting quickly without thinking. Always verify that the sender’s full email address, including the domain after the “@” symbol, is correct.
  • Be Secure – Protect Your Home Office
  • Protect your network, Secure your equipment, Don’t do work from unsecured personal device, Connect securely, Safeguard sensitive information, Don’t share log-in credentials, Use your organization’s approved tools to conduct secure virtual meetings.
  • Be Responsible – Report Any Concerns
  • Be Prepared – Learn More About Cyber Safety

For alleviating the distress associated with an event after it occurs, design preventative measures such as

  Anti-cyber-bullying polices, education campaigns and community awareness, and psychological

  Interventions.

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