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Cyber Crimes Awareness During The Pandemic Cyber Crimes Awareness During The Pandemic

Bronze medal Reporter Names Posted 7 Jul 2020
Cyber Crimes Awareness During The Pandemic

We know that the whole world is going through the novel coronavirus crisis. As a result of this situation, most of us are working from home. We have to protect ourselves and so in order to do that , one of the precautions is to maintain social distancing during this period. This has led many to use the internet to work increasingly  and get over the boredom of being home. Since we must stay home, then it is better to use the time productively.

Boredom is not a small enemy. It can easily lead  to depression. So whether it is work or studies or  use an internet computer app, to avoid getting into thoughts it is necessary that you use the internet .

Cyber crime has always occurred but during this Covid pandemic, the number of crimes have increased by major percentages. Cyber criminals are taking advantage of the situation as much as they can.

Well , it is obvious we need to do everything online like shopping, schooling, work, entertainment, paying bills and so on .So,the payment for these online purchases must be done through online itself which is prone for cyber crimes. Payment online involves sharing our card number and details which can be hacked by cyber criminals.

Some common cyber crimes during this Covid times are:

1. Phishing Scams: This scam is the fraudulent attempt of cyber criminals to obtain personal details such as login password, credit card number, and the CVV number on the back of the credit or debit card.  A cyber criminal tries to get your personal details by sending emails or messages to you either on a random basis or from “friends” recommended by the software for you on social media.

2. Online dating scams:  As people---especially young adults---cannot go out during this period of Covid so many matrimonial sites and dating apps have been created. Not all are secure or legitimate, especially the ones that sound “too good to be true.” Yes, they will be too good and yes, they will not be true.

But if the scammer can get your personal id or offers you a club  membership or some product, then you have enabled a cyber criminal to rob or harm you .They can even try to troll you  so that  you send money to stop the nuisance which is similar to being blackmailed.

3. Fake anti-virus scam: In this scam, a pop up will be seen on your screen “You have been infected! Download antivirus X or Y right now to protect your computer!”  Sometimes this actually cause your system to be hacked and comes under the control of the  scammer. Any details found stored in your computer memory will be taken.

4. Job Offer and Make Money Online scams:  You will be promised non-existent jobs online. The scammer will make you believe that it is the easiest way to get money. There will be many job offers through Facebook, WhatsApp and various emails. They will offer you part time and regular jobs, with a catch.  

You will have to pay an initial amount of money online to get the job. So you must give your credit card details. Now this scamming cyber criminal has open access to your bank account or credit card. You will never get  the job or interview or visa or whatever which was  promised and you may realise late , that this was a fake one.

5.  Healthcare site and apps scams: Many medicines or exercises that can cure nCovid-19 will be mentioned in these sites. This is because nCovid-19 is a pandemic. At  other times, there  will be healthcare site and app scams related to any medical condition you can name.

Therefore, be alert!

  1. Blogs like this offer good advice but never ask for money nor for any kind of debit card or credit card  information.
  2. As a general rule, only use trusted sites for e-commerce like the sites where you have ordered before and you know the company is trustworthy. Even here, be cautious , in case someone has hacked the payment channel in some manner.
  3. Remember the Golden Rule: If a promised product or service sounds too good to be true, then the promised product or service is most likely fake.
  4. If you  have or know children taking online classes or you are working from home, then  it is highly recommended to be careful about the pop-up messages and emails you get.
  5. Only use trusted Wi-Fi networks and change passwords of your Wi-Fi, phone and personal apps quite often. Try not to open up any links send to your emails unless you know the sender well. When in doubt,  double-check through WhatsApp or some messaging app with the sender. If you do not know the sender, be doubly alert. Before clicking on any link, think “Do you really need to see  or use the link?” This can help you in deciding whether you really need to check the link or not and thus , helping you avoid being a victim of cyber crime  .

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