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Cyber Criminals Target Natural Disaster Victims

September 25, 2018 by OSYB Staff

Natural disaters are calamitous for all the people affected by it.  Also, extremely tragic is that cybercriminals take advantage of this vulnerable population for their own gains.  Individuals and corporations are equally at risk.  Disasater victims, volunteers and donors are vulnerable to “phishing” attacks as they have to communicate with unfamiliar people and groups.  When targeting victims, cyber criminals ferret personal information by impersonating groups that are reaching out to help and they also portray themselves as charitable organizations to gather personal banking information.  Businesses also become targets, if their systems are down they could become vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Journal of Accountancy shares some guidelines to follow:

  • Be consistent in examining email and web addresses as cybercriminals work on looking legitimate, be wary of any spelling mistakes.
  • Avoid clicking on links in emails from anyone even when you know the sender.  It is safer to search for web addresses directly into your browser.
  • It is advisable to check on the organization by actually searching for the organization’s website.  Use sites like  Charity Navigator for additional confirmation.  Use this same type of caution when on the phone.
  • Keep anti-virus software up to date, and make sure you have enacted the anti-phishing software furnished by your email provider.
  • Please note that disaster organizations like FEMA would never ask for personal banking information, a Social Security number, or a registration number. In emails or phone calls, cybercriminals may try to pose as disaster aid organizations; don’t give them personal information.

Businesses should have business continuity plans in place should there IT network go down.  Stay on guard and follow safety personal and business safety protocols.

Read more: How cybercriminals prey on victims of natural disasters

Image credit:  Deposit Photos

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