Online security in a work-from-home environment – Part II New technology means new scams to watch for

As incredible as all the new online meeting technology platforms have been for home-based business, including the ability of physicians to hop on a Zoom or FaceTime call with a client to make their virtual sessions as close to in-person as possible, these abilities have also opened doors for cybercriminals to do their version of work from home.

You can follow the advice of the first part of this series perfectly but still be exposed to troublesome online scams if you’re not careful.

Zoom and Teams are two of the latest places to watch for phishing attacks, which have spiked since the start of the pandemic. Zoom is the more likely of the two to be wary of as a physician – although it does offer some secure setups for chatting with patients or groups, attackers continue to improve their methods to exploit those dependent on video conferencing.

Thousands of Zoom-related domains were registered by scammers just from late April to early May last year when the pandemic was in its early days. They use these domain names to send phishing attacks that look like they originate from the official video conferencing services sites – according to Check Point Research.

Users can defend themselves, however, using a few security best practices recommended by the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

“Out of the blue, you receive an email, text, or social media message that includes Zoom’s logo and a message saying something like, ‘Your Zoom account has been suspended. Click here to reactivate.’ or ‘You missed a meeting, click here to see the details and reschedule.’ You might even receive a message welcoming you to the platform and requesting you click on a link to activate your account,” warns the BBB, suggesting you think before you click:

  • Double check the sender’s information. Zoom.com and Zoom.us are the only official domains for Zoom. If an email comes from one that doesn’t quite match the official domain name, it’s probably a scam.
  • Never click links in unsolicited emails. Phishing scams always involve getting an unsuspecting individual to click on a link or file sent in an email that will download dangerous malware onto the computer. If you aren’t sure who it really came from, never click on any links, files or images.
  • Resolve issues directly. If you receive an email stating there is a problem with your account, and you aren’t sure if it is legitimate, contact the company directly. Go to the official website by typing the name in your browser and find contact support to get help.

When the solution may actually be the problem

Antivirus software is a must for your protection. But what happens when the very thing you think is going to keep you safe is actually causing you harm. There is a clever tactic in the form of a very believable pop-up on your computer that suddenly suggests your computer has been infected. This scam just wants you to download its free software – which actually opens the door for a virus, malware or ransomware.

If you don’t have antivirus protection, get the software right away, and only trust information from your program. The flashy, over-the-top alerts that try to goad you into immediate action via download are not the way trusted antivirus programs work. The real ones primarily do their work behind the scenes

Tech support too good to be true

This scam is often done by phone, with tech support impersonators reaching out to people to tell them their computer (or another device) is compromised. They prompt the target to download an application that lets them control the computer remotely. Once given access, the scammers can download real viruses or deceive the user into thinking there is something seriously wrong and that they will have to pay them to fix it. There are much better uses for your hard-earned money, such as reliable online medical transcription services.

Spotting these scams is as simple as the concept of something being too good to be true. Companies like Apple or Microsoft will never call you to advise you of a problem with your computer. If you need support, reach out to them directly. And if you find their information online, double check the source to ensure it isn’t an advertisement paid for by another scammer to draw you in.

To read Part I Ensuring your home space is as secure as your office, click here.

Next up in Part III are some tips for your older patients, who have to be particularly cautious of targeted attacks in pandemic times.

 

2Ascribe Inc. is a medical transcription services agency located in Toronto, Ontario Canada, providing medical transcription services to physicians, clinics, and other healthcare providers across Canada. Our medical transcriptionists take pride in the quality of your transcribed documents. WEBscribe is our client interface portal for document management. 2Ascribe continues to implement and develop technology to assist and improve the transcription process for physicians and other healthcare providers, and recently introduced AUTOfax. AUTOfax works within WEBscribe to automatically send faxes to referring physicians when a document is signed off by the healthcare professional. As a service to our clients and the healthcare industry, 2Ascribe offers articles of interest to physicians and other healthcare professionals, medical transcriptionists, and office staff, as well as of general interest. Additional articles may be found at http://www.2ascribe.com.

 

This entry was posted on in Business, Coping During COVID, General Interest, Virtual Patient Care.

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