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Working safely from home - part 3: identify fake messages in time

Some organisations have allowed employees to work from home for one or more days per week for years. Others are suddenly confronted with the quarantine measures. Whatever the situation, working from home should not create a greater risk of falling victim to a cyber attack. With clear rules, the right equipment and sufficient preventive measures, online working at home can be as safe as working at the office.

Phishing is an online scam involving fake mails, websites or messages. Cybercriminals respond to current events and know which topics interest us. Therefore, always be on your guard when you receive suspicious messages referring to the coronavirus or COVID-19.

We have already warned about phishing messages that misuse the news around the coronavirus and also about all kinds of fake news. But hackers are now also using the coronavirus as bait to lead you to websites that can install viruses on your computer.

Such messages are often the gateway to a cyber attack. Here are some clues that should raise your concern before you decide to click on a link or attachment.

Identify fake messages in time

  • Pay special attention to the e-mails you receive. You will not find the remedy for the coronavirus in an e-mail.
  • We're currently receiving a number of reports about false messages around the coronavirus:
    • offers for face masks
    • false fundraisers for victims of the virus
    • links to fake news sites
    • offers about vaccines

What if you get a suspicious message?

  • Do not click on the links or images in fake messages and do not open any attachments. If in doubt, look up the website via a search engine. Never open documents and attachments from unconfirmed sources about COVID-19 on any device.
  • Do not download unofficial software on your computer or apps on your smartphone outside of the official Google/Apple app stores  in an attempt to learn more about COVID-19.
  • Contact your employer immediately if you have clicked on a link or an attachment in a suspicious message.
  • Do not contribute to the spread of false messages that will only scare your friends and family.
  • Forward suspicious messages to suspicious@safeonweb.be
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