The new coronavirus has brought in everything, including a spate of digital crimes using COVID-19 to attract people's attention through trickery. In many cases, the ultimate purpose of criminals is to access information that allows them to extort or steal money from their victims. Sometimes their attacks have also ended in collective actions, such as people going out, exposing their health, in search of false help.

The range of possibilities is enormous and different ways of acting emerge daily, which, as we already mentioned, have exploded as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example:

  • Criminals impersonate the identity of banks to obtain information from users.
  • Cybercriminals create malicious domains and commit scams online.
  • They deceive with false information of subsidies, helps, prizes, false vaccines and treatments.
  • They sell codes to violate teleconferencing systems on Windows and MacOS devices that allow spying on video calls. 

 “Cybercriminals adapt their scams daily and send very convincing messages. In some countries we have even seen that the same day that the government announces some emergency financial aid, malicious and phishing messages appear circulating in messaging apps and social networks, taking advantage of the anxiety of the population". 

Fabio Assolini, senior security analyst at Kaspersky. 

Criminals look for weaknesses either in technology or in the human factor (for which they use social engineering, a very useful tool that in the wrong hands can be very harmful). When attacks are focused on people, the way to combat them is through pedagogy, digital hygiene and good practices.

The BBVA bank –which provided part of the information with which we prepared this material– is one of the actors who work in training not only its workers (who have an online learning culture), but also users, through of the BBVA Campus, which had an increase in traffic of 96% during the first month of confinement.

At this BBVA Campus, people can learn different topics, but one that is the protagonist is cybersecurity, which has different approaches. For example, there are a number of virtual workshops with the aim of reducing the risks associated with remote work through cybersecurity awareness and training. There are others on how to protect corporate information while telecommuting, how to manage passwords safely and how to adopt cyber-secure habits in the family environment.

Other educational offers of the BBVA Campus
  • MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). Training programs from the world's most prestigious universities and business schools with a careful selection of the most relevant knowledge and skills for the BBVA Group and updated on a recurring basis.
  • Watch & Learn. Short video channel with the main keys on leadership, digital and cultural transformation, explained by experts in each subject, both from BBVA and external.
  • Language Center. Language platform that includes innovative training experiences. Accessible through the web and through its own app.

The content comes from alliances with other players such as Google, LinkedIn Learning, Harvard, IESE and through Getsmarter, an educational company that offers courses from leading universities such as Cambridge, MIT, The London School of Economics, among others.

En this link can find some tips offered by BBVA for users to protect their information and assets. You can also find here financial education tips related to the factors to consider for choose a mobile banking option, and an explanation of the identification and authentication options offered by banks and digital systems and services in general.

And if your cybersecurity concern is specifically related to COVID-19, there are also specific recommendations from BBVA:

  1. Scams on WhatsApp, 'fake news' and data theft: tips to avoid cyberattacks during the coronavirus crisis.
  2. How to protect the elderly from 'hackers' in the days of COVID-19.
  3. Keys to avoid disinformation 'online' during the coronavirus crisis.
  4. Podcast: Don't Let Cybercriminals Take Advantage Of Coronavirus.
  5. Tips to protect yourself from online fraud during the coronavirus crisis.

Finally, we add to this package some important recommendations related to digital security and hygiene:

With information from: BBVA, CAI Virtual and Sophos.

Find more Financial Education content here at Impacto TIC.

This content was developed with the support of BBVA, which has not influenced the editorial approach. Between BBVA and Impacto TIC there are commercial agreements to communicate factual and objective information focused on financial education.