Coronavirus and Online Security: What Has Changed?

Jul 20, 2020 7:45 AM ET

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The coronavirus is one of the hardest milestones that modern society has to live through. While social distancing and frequent hand sanitizer use have become regular practices, there are more things besides physical health. Due to the deadly pandemic moving across the globe, we’ve had to change or adjust most of our habits. That includes our browsing and time spent online.

Besides books, new hobbies, and Netflix binging, browsing the internet is one of the more popular ways to spend the days during the lockdown. In this article, we’re going to cover how that might be impacting our internet security, the hazards that lurk, and the protective measures to take against them.

What’s the News?

Since the lockdown, millions of people are isolated from the rest of society to prevent the spread of the virus. Naturally, people have been spending more time on the web than before. Shopping, browsing, or simply killing boredom is simple when you can browse through the web.

Additionally, many people continue to work from home even after governments announce the end of quarantine. As a result, the COVID-19 crisis has been the inspiration for many online scams. All of these con artists are looking to exploit the current situation for personal gain. So, protecting yourself is your top priority.

Home computers aren’t as well protected as your work computer (at least in the majority of cases). If you are working from home, you need to consult your employer about the actions necessary to protect business assets. Companies should provide their staff with relevant information, tools, and other security-oriented recommendations. However, in some cases, you might be left to fend for yourself, especially if you work as a freelancer.

The Dangers That Lurk

If you are not careful, you can wind up with all of your personal information stolen and exploited – you can have all of it infringed and not even know about it. Malicious individuals don’t always target you directly. They create sophisticated pieces of software or elaborate scams focused on getting into your PC. That is why avoiding them is one of the most important things you can do. Aside from scams, you can fall victim to a wide range of malware.

What is malware?

Malware is malicious software that, when on your PC, exploits its contents for malicious purposes. The tricky part about malware is that it comes many forms. Some malware works to steal your information, others spy on you, and more dangerous types of viruses can ransom your private information.

Below, we’re going to list some of the most common types of malware and give you a brief explanation of what they do when they infect your PC.

Worms – self-replicating malware that overwhelms and damages systems.
Viruses – malware that corrupts particular data.
Trojan Viruses – viruses that disguise themselves as other programs.
Spyware – malware that says on your operations, stealing information.
Adware – malware that shows you constant advertisements.
Ransomware – malware that ransoms your data. If the ransom is not paid, the data is usually wiped or left encrypted.

The Possible Solutions

One of the coronavirus-inspired malware infections tampered with computer systems’ master boot record (MBR), preventing the device from booting. Another report indicated that hackers were releasing mobile malware, disguised as legitimate apps. Such malicious apps transmitted Trojans, Banker Trojans, and Premium Dialers. With the current situation at hand, here are the tips you should follow to stay safe.

Don’t visit websites you don’t trust. If a website asks you to download something, politely refuse and take your business elsewhere. There might be cases when you receive suspicious emails in your account, insisting you click on a link or download attachments. Do not perform these actions until you are certain that they originate from reliable sources.
A way to protect yourself from advertisements is to install AdBlock software. Pick one that works best on your browser and comes from reliable creators.
If you want to protect your PC while you browse the web, you might want to consider downloading excellent antivirus software. It will save your PC from malware. Scheduling regular checkups is a great way to ensure you’re not harboring any malicious parasites.
To protect your privacy from governments, marketers, and other third-party entities, install a VPN. These tools will ensure that your digital identity remains concealed from unreliable sources. Furthermore, it encrypts data that travels through the internet and prevents others from intercepting connections. Aside from these features, a good VPN will also provide top of the line customer support, unblock geo-restricted content, keep no logs, and have impressive speeds.

Final Thoughts

The coronavirus pandemic has brought many hardships to the global population, but it is also an opportunity to improve. You might have never considered enhancing your cybersecurity until this disease emerged. You can now explore the opportunities available and prevent hackers from getting access to your computer or personal information.

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