While people are working from home, experts say they could be exposing themselves to online dangers

Posted at 2:12 PM, Jun 09, 2020

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - While so many of us are working from home, experts say people could be exposing themselves to online dangers. Many students are conducting classes online and more people than ever are working from home.

Experts say cybercriminals are looking for targets.

“There’s a lot more opportunity for criminals to hack in or interrupt some of the business that is taking place,” said Christina Pullen with the Norfolk FBI.

According to cybersecurity group VMware Carbon Black, in recent months there’s been a 70% increase in people working remotely, and in March a 148% increase in ransomware attacks compared to February.

“Ransomware continues to be on the rise because, sadly, it continues to work,” said Terry McGraw, a cybersecurity expert and the President of PC Matic Federal.

He said there are plenty of cybercriminals trying to make money through ransomware.

“What they do is exploit your systems, lock it down with an encryption and then hold you hostage until you pay,” said McGraw.

He said the goal is for the company to pay the amount of the ransom so the cybercriminal can make money from them.

In recent days, Honda said they were the victims of a cyberattack. They issued the following statement:

Honda has experienced a cyberattack that has affected production operations at some U.S. plants. However, there is no current evidence of loss of personally identifiable information. We have resumed production in most plants and are currently working toward the return to production of our auto and engine plants in Ohio.

The FBI said they’ve also seen an increase in teleconferences being attacked and hacked. They said there have been explicit content posted and racist remarks being said to members in the meeting.

Pullen suggested that if groups are having online meetings, they should keep the links and passwords to the meetings as private as possible. She said do not post them on online social media groups for many people to see.

Experts say there are things to do to protect yourself against cybercriminals.

Related: FBI warns about coronavirus scams happening in Hampton Roads

“Use strong passwords, change them frequently and never click on links or open emails from senders you don’t know. Those are the three most important things that you can do to protect yourself online,” said Pullen.

McGraw suggested having multi-factor authentication when signing in your devices and investing in virus protection software.

But if you do become a victim, “We ask that anybody that has been victimized by an online scam to report it immediately to the FBI Internet Crime complaint center at or call 800-CALL- FBI," said Pullen.

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