Cyber risk during the lockdown

One in three coronavirus-related websites is fraudulent

The Telegraph

Written by Kristina Indienko, Insurance Advisor

@ Chelsea Insurance Brokers

Cyber threats are no longer the preserve of crime fiction writers. Cyber crime is real; and it’s here to stay. During COVID-19 pandemic a hacker attack is happening every 7 seconds which means by the time the average person takes a selfie and uploads it to facebook, the next hacker attack has already taken place.

This could be because remote working temporarily replaced the traditional model of working, for the time being. Remote workers have become more vulnerable to cyber threats and attacks.

Here at Chelsea we always aim to lower your risk so we put together a short list of top five main cyber threats during this lockdown so you can stay aware! 

Risk #1: Fake Donations

In one of the most successful scam criminals are asking for donations to help the NHS fight Covid-19. City of London Police reports around £1.6m have been already “donated” to cyber scammers. Beware of NHS infected emails!

Risk #2: Government website scam

Phishing attacks related to the pandemic are on the rise such as scam website impersonating government website, scammers are impersonating the government to exploit people’s money worries, targeting low earners with messages telling them they are eligible for council tax reduction or tax refund. 

Risk #3: Fake app for purchasing masks 

Cyber scammers are putting out fake coronavirus apps promising to show where to buy N95 face masks near you. Some would claim to sell masks and ask the victim to pay online, then steal the credit card and personal information. 

Risk #4: Fake tracker app 

Counterfeit coronavirus tracking apps have been circulating, similar to the real one, but they are malware that has been designed to stalk their users and steal their phone contacts. 

Risk #5: Online antivirus 

A website has popped up and boldly claimed that their software can protect its users against the actual COVID-19 virus. But once the software has been downloaded, it will turn the user’s computer into a bot which can be controlled by the scammers behind the software.

Reducing the Cyber Risk:

With more cybercriminals preying on people’s fears and taking advantage of the fact that more people are doing home office, it is essential to protect your cybersecurity at home. Here are a few recommendations on how to protect yourself from the scams.


Be alert

You should never open questionable messages such as links and attachments in emails. Be alert with any communication online, whether it is via email or on a social networking site. If you are in doubt about the contact you are having, do a search on the internet for more information on the contact to see if it is genuine.


Keep your personal details safe

It is important to keep your mobile phones and computers protected with passwords. If you have any security programme on your devices, remember to update and back up regularly. You must also be very cautious with what personal information you share on social networks. Scammers can easily target you or produce a fake identity using your details and photos, so not revealing too much of your details online is better.


If you gave sensitive information, don’t panic

If you believe you have given data such as your username or passwords to cybercriminals, immediately change your credentials on each site where you have used them. If you think you may have been the victim of fraud or cyber crime, you should report this to Action Fraud at


If you see a scam, report it

If you have received an email which you’re not quite sure about, forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS): 395 phishing sites were successfully removed just within a week of launching.


Cyber insurance

Cyber insurance is not only for businesses. It is also a great option for individuals for protection against the cyber scams, especially if you work from home which makes you a cybercrime target. It covers everything from the cost of investigating a cyber attack on the cost of repairing your data. Contact us if you would like to talk to one of our experts and get a quote.


We’d Love to Help You With Your Cyber Insurance

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