Consumers and businesses alike have been scrambling to take steps to protect themselves from the coronavirus, from flocking to stores to buy out supplies of hand sanitizer, to encouraging workers to avoid large gatherings and work remotely. While we hope our customers are taking the necessary steps to stay healthy (check out best practices from the World Health Organisation here), in addition to health risks, there are increased cybersecurity risks, too. The European Central Bank recently issued a warning to banks about the heightened potential for cybercrime and fraud, as many users are opting to stay at home and use remote banking services during the coronavirus outbreak. At a time of uncertainty and vulnerability for many, hackers and fraudsters are taking advantage of fear surrounding the virus as it continues to spread across the globe. We pulled together the following tips to help you improve your cybersecurity hygiene during this time:
1) According to recent PCI Pal research, almost half (47%) of Americans use the same password across multiple sites and apps. We all know this is a big cybersecurity no-no, but it’s especially important during times of heightened risk that we ensure our passwords are unique and secure. Consider updating your passwords and using a password manager tool to improve account security.
2) In addition to varying passwords, consider adopting two-factor authentication for accounts – most services offer some sort of two-factor authentication, yet 23% of Americans report they have never used these tools to protect passwords or payments! Take advantage of these tools – especially if you’re going to be engaging with more digital services while you stay home to wait out coronavirus.
3) In addition to online fraud, there’s also an increased risk for phone fraud – whether you’re engaging with a customer service agent from your bank over the phone or simply ordering takeout. When speaking with a customer service representative, make sure you double check their credentials and only use the phone number provided by the company’s website.
4) For businesses looking to protect customer data during this time, consider PCI compliance, the strongest standard for payment security. PCI compliance standards can help protect your customers from data breaches and hacks – even when they ignore the above steps to protect themselves!
5) Phishing scams relating to Coronavirus will be prevalent, including emails pretending to offer advice from governments and the World Health Organisation. Scammers will use such techniques to infect your laptop/PC and gain access into your systems. Every care should be taken before opening such communications.
Contact us today to learn how PCI Pal’s solutions can help ensure your customers’ sensitive payment information is safe from opportunistic fraudsters.