The COVID-19 pandemic has led people to use the Internet on a high scale. Be it for studies, work or entertainment, individuals and organizations are adapting themselves to take the online mode at a greater length and in the process, their activities are subjected to widespread exposure. Alarmingly, the increase in Internet usage is grabbing the attention of fraudsters which is leading to online intrusions and security breaches.
Owing to the pandemic, unemployment is rampant and a lot of people have lost their jobs. This has made those with a sly intent, reeling under financial stress to generate income aggressively. Bad elements are exploiting the crisis situation and extracting money and vital, confidential information of vulnerable Internet users. Cyber thieves are silently keeping track of information shared online. Impersonation of Health Organizations such as WHO and sending emails, sms and WhatsApp messages to seek donations are getting increasingly common. The pandemic has created a high demand for essential products such as masks, hand gels and immunity boosters and drugs that are being purported to cure COVID-19 are seen on the online platform. Fraudsters are even creating websites to market “products” with luring promos, products which never arrive when ordered for.
Most organizations and the government are taking steps to curb cyber-crimes which are likely to intensify after the pandemic is over. Business Houses and the government are likely to run awareness campaigns that appeal to people to stay safe from Internet fraudsters. Studies and research are being conducted to manage Internet crimes and cap loopholes that lead to financial and privacy losses.
The long and short of it is that one must not impulsively fall for products marketed in the guise of attractive packaging with a low-price tag that screams for attention. Stay alert constantly and refrain from sharing personal or finance-related data and information on the Internet. Citizens, in their own interests, must be extra vigilant to stay away from tricksters.