The pandemic has created an enormous shift to online activity. Many of us work from home; we school our children from home, we buy more goods and services online and we interact in an online capacity much more these days. Consequently, COVID-19 not only has the potential to affect our health, it can be devastating to our cyber security health as well.
Research indicates that stress from illness or frustration can promote poor and unsafe cyber security decisions; and that more online time can lead to riskier behavior, such as accessing pirated entertainment or websites that aren’t secure. Our increased online shopping has resulted in more credit card fraud. There are also links that are made to look like official government and healthcare sites so that they can steal your personal information. Dangerous links can lead us down a road we definitely don’t want to travel.
With our increased online activity and sometimes questionable online behavior comes the increased threat of cyber-criminal activity. Hackers are relying on our altered online behavior to create even more risks for our computers and personal information; and, with all of the increased online activity, cyber attacks now have the potential to devastate businesses and our government, impede access to healthcare and even put our family and friends at online risk.
So, what can we do? We need to step up our game as it relates to our online health. Make sure your internet access is secure. Use different passwords for different things. Check your firewalls. Choose a solid password for your home Wi-Fi. Don’t click on questionable links or open emails if you aren’t sure of the source. Verify URLs so you know that the site you are on is trustworthy. Plus, try to keep up to date on the latest online scams.
A computer virus can spread like coronavirus, with one unhealthy decision leading to the contamination of others with whom we come in digital contact. So please make sure you are practicing safe, healthy online behavior. Your computer and personal information health, as well as the health of our entire cyber community could depend upon it.