Protecting Your Company and Yourself from COVID-19 Hackers

Services for Real Estate Pros with Inc

Many people are asking how they can not only protect themselves, but also their organizations, from all of these COVID-19 hacks that are currently popping up.

As with any other phishing scam, vigilance is extremely important. We are certainly going to have to keep on our toes for months, or even years, as this fallout from the pandemic could be around for a long time.

You have to be suspicious of each and every unsolicited email, phone call, or text, especially if someone is looking for account or contact details, or they ask to share personal information. If you feel like information seekers are asking for too much, you should vet the email, dig deeper, do some web searches, and make sure its legitimate.

Don’t use any links or phone numbers within the email of based on the call until you do this. If you get a recorded message, make sure you don’t press any button when asked. If you do, you may be giving them some type of approval and you end up being a victim.

  • In response to ransomware, you should make sure that you are totally backing up your data on all of your devices.
  • For any online account you have, set up or turn on two-factor or multi-factor authentication when you can. This, at least, makes those accounts less likely to be breached, even if someone does get ahold of some of your information.

You might think this is a pain right now, but it definitely won’t be a pain if your information is breached and you start to lose money.

There are many organizations that are being forced to give their employees access to their networks from home…and in most cases, they never planned for that. This working from home increases the criminals attack surface. So, the network is probably more vulnerable, and in some cases, security policies and processes are even being bypassed to ensure all employees have access to it. This comes at a big risk, and with every employee who has access to the company network, there is an opportunity for a hacker to get inside.

Most cybercriminals who go for this type of hack want to get access to this so they can get sensitive information and turn it into cash. Other hackers want to go big time, and they will use the credentials that they are hacking to use in attacks like “password stuffing/spraying,” to access multiple critical user accounts. With a larger “attack surface”, these companies are definitely at risk and because of staff working from all over the place, any attempt to break into the network could go unnoticed until it is too late.

Corporate cybersecurity and IT teams are working hard, but they, too, are generally working from home. With even more workload and more remote information to go over, this also means that they don’t have the time to pay as close attention as they should. This makes things even more dangerous, so keep your eyes open.

ROBERT SICILIANO CSP, is a #1 Best Selling Amazon author, CEO of, the architect of the CSI Protection certification; a Cyber Social and Identity and Personal Protection security awareness training program.


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Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Good morning, Robert... excellent reminder. Shame that a pandemic like this one that has already disrupted all of our lives also leads to this kind of criminality.

May 20, 2020 05:16 AM #1
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

These people need to get a life , instead of preying on the general public for ill gotten gain 

May 20, 2020 05:22 AM #2
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Robert- I can only imagine what kinds of doors were opened once people began working from home. We can't stop being cautious because if we let our guard down, that's when those people will slip right in . 

May 21, 2020 03:09 PM #3
Greg Mona
eXp Realty - Chandler, AZ
Professional Real Estate Representation for YOU!

 Hi Robert Siciliano. We can file this one under the ever-growing "Sad but True" heading. Jeez, wouldn't it be nice if the same effort put forth to hack and disrupt with malicious intent could be used toward things that would improve people's lives? SMH! 

May 21, 2020 05:43 PM #4
Richard V. Foster, Esq.
Nevada Perfect Homes - Henderson, NV
Broker (58356) - ABR/M, CREN, CRS, GRI, RRG, SFR

The scam does not mater, CV-19, Nigerian scam, or lottery chance, they are all the same. I will share a few simple things I do, and I have not had a virus in over 2 decades...

First, I never open emails from anyone I don't know, but more importantly, or from anyone I am not expecting something from.  I do not even open the email, let alone any attachment. If I receive something unexpectedly, I contact the "sender" and ask if they sent it.

Second, I  do not follow any links, EVER... Not even from people I know, UNLESS, they have told me in advance they are sending it, and told me what the link is for.

Most importantly, I never install MS Exchange on any computer I own, and if pre-installed I remove the entire program. This is because 95% of viruses are written to use the .dll files of Exchange. If you never load the program, there is nothing for the virus to use to attack your computer.

Like I said, simple, and virus free for two decades. Oh, one last safety tip, wear a mask and stay six feet away from the keyboard while surfing the net to stay CV-19 free... Be safe everyone.

May 21, 2020 05:50 PM #5
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