Cybercriminals Are Counting On You Letting Your Guard Down During This Global Pandemic – Here’s How To Stop Them

The world is slowing down during this COVID-19 pandemic. Wall Street is being hit hard. People are no longer going out. We’re told to quarantine or self-isolate and not engage in groups.

You can bet there’s one group that’s not slowing down at all. In fact, they’re probably working overtime while the rest of us have our lives turned upside down. Cybercriminals and hackers know there’s no better time to strike than during a global crisis. While you are distracted and spending your time trying to make sense of this new normal, they are finding new ways into your IT network so they can steal data and passwords, compromise your clients’ private information and even demand large ransoms.

Cybercrime is already on the rise and is expected to cause $6 TRILLION in damages by 2021! But, if history repeats itself, hackers will be out in full force throughout this coronavirus scare. We fully expect in the upcoming weeks that headlines will change from stories about COVID-19 to accounts of a frenzy of cyber-attacks on corporations and small businesses.

Here are solutions you can implement now to help protect your business data, money and productivity:

1. Be more suspicious of incoming e-mails.

Because people are scared and confused right now, it’s the perfect time for hackers to send e-mails with dangerous malware and viruses. At this moment, your in-box is probably filled with “COVID-19” subject lines and coronavirus-focused e-mails. Always carefully inspect the e-mail and make sure you know the sender. There’s a cdc-gov e-mail address out there now that’s not legitimate and is spamming in-boxes across the country.

Avoid clicking links in the e-mail unless it’s clear where they go. And you should never download an attachment unless you know who sent it and what it is. Communicate these safeguards to everyone on your team, especially if they are working from home.

2. Ensure your work-from-home computers are secure.

Another reason we expect a rise in cyber-attacks during this pandemic is the dramatic increase in employees working from home. Far too many employers won’t think about security as their team starts working at the kitchen table. That’s a dangerous precedent.

First, make sure your employees are not using their home computers or devices when working. Second, ensure your work-at-home computers have a firewall that’s turned on. Finally, your network and data are not truly secure unless your employees utilize a VPN (virtual private network). If you need help in arranging your new work-from-home environment, we would be happy to get your entire team set up.

3. Improve your password strategy.

During crises like the one we are all facing right now, your passwords could mean the difference between spending your time relearning how to grow your business and trying to recoup finances and private data that’s been hacked. Make a point now to reevaluate your passwords and direct your team to create stronger passwords.

Also, while it’s so convenient to save your passwords in your web browser, it also lessens your security. Because web browsers simply require their own password or PIN to access saved passwords, a skilled hacker can bypass this hurdle. Once they access your saved passwords, they can steal as much as they want – credit card information, customers’ private data and more!

Instead, you should consider a password manager to keep all of your passwords in one place. These password managers feature robust security. A few options are [LastPass, 1Password and Keeper Security Password Manager].

You, your team and your family have enough to concern yourselves with in regards to staying healthy, living a more isolated lifestyle and keeping your business strong. There’s no need to invite in more problems by letting your computer and network security slide during these times.

If you need additional security advice or would like to have a consultation to discuss how to keep your data safe, simply connect with us today.

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About Nathan Jewett and Softuitive

Softuitive is a new kind of technology company located in White Bear Lake, Minn. We advocate for our customers across a full spectrum of technology areas.

We are passionate about developing Sensibly Progressive solutions that are forward-thinking, effective and designed to help your business succeed. We do this by leveraging information technology in creative and effective ways.

As your Technology Partner, Softuitive brings experience and technical depth to your management and decision-making process in ways that will save your business time and money. If you have a need for new technology, we will assist you in making wise, forward-thinking choices.

We Right-Size your IT by advocating for sound, practical solutions, many of which extend the life of your existing technology. Our unique approach to designing and developing end-to-end solutions guides clients towards their long-term objectives in as cost-effective a manner as possible.

The key to our success is clearly understanding your requirements in the first place. Our methodology allows us to clearly hit the bull’s-eye every time.

We provide a unique “preventive and proactive” strategic IT approach that brings about a holistic transformation in the way IT is managed within companies. We call our approach "Sensibly Progressive."

Softuitive Founder and CEO Nathan Jewett created his first piece of software and started his first business in 1983 at the age of 11. It was a bulletin board service using the Apple IIe that allowed remote users to dial in from phone modems to connect and play Dungeons and Dragons for a subscription fee. This was far before the Internet as we know it. Called a “computer whisperer” by some and an “expert in IT infrastructure” by others, Nathan continues to offer innovative solutions helping small businesses implement IT strategies and secure networks as cost-effectively as possible.

Over the last 20 years, Jewett has completed Design, Web and IT projects for over 300 companies including Yahoo, Imation, University of Minnesota, Deluxe Corp, White Bear Center for the Arts, Fresh and Natural Foods, White Bear Lake Emergency Food Shelf, Saint Paul Port Authority, Kevitt Excavating, and many others.

The Softuitive name is an intentional blend of words that conveys key core competencies and company values- software solutions and support services delivered in intuitive ways. Jewett explains that the company name has significant meaning. "There’s an intuitive side to how we work and there is a soft side,” he said. “Intuitive is a big part of how I learn, but also how we work with customers. Soft means being caring and sensitive in our approach, and always putting the customer’s needs first — values which are largely missing in these times.” said Jewett.

“Ask us how our ‘ESP’ can  save your business thousands of dollars each year while bringing your IT management and systems into the future and operating as the strong foundation your company needs.”

Here's What Others Have To Say About Softuitive...

The work Softuitive has done for us has been wonderful. The staff is very knowledgeable and we are very satisfied with the work done. We will continue to contract with Softuitive for our IT needs for the foreseeable future.

Lois O'Brien Finance Manager, Fresh and Natural Foods

The help Softuitive provided was greatly appreciated. I would not have been able to get to the solution for what the client was requesting without Softuitive’s assistance.

Scot Moore Senior Technical Specialist
Ricoh USA

We’re ecstatic about how everything was done. The technology is working very well, beyond our expectations.

Robert Cuerden Chairman of the Board
White Bear Center for the Arts

We hired Softuitive after learning about the IT work they had done for the recently completed White Bear Center for the Arts. Softuitive has been absolutely essential to solving our IT problems.

Julie Jergens Executive Director
White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf