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Ensuring Safety and Cybersecurity During Times of Civil Unrest

10 mins read
written by
Dhoof Mohamed

The past few weeks have been emotional and filled with turmoil and uncertainty for most Americans. In the past week, all 50 states had protests and some of America’s major cities have had riots emerge from protests. Although many people assume this will not affect them, it’s important to realize the social climate in order to protect yourself and your family. Educating yourself on the current political and social climate will help prevent you from being harmed in socially volatile situations. If you are traveling to a city within the U.S., make sure to take some time to learn about any ongoing protests and demonstrations. This can impact any travel plans you have if there are protesters on the streets or areas you are heading towards.

Situation awareness is extremely important during these volatile times. Regardless of your position on protests, riots or any other public gatherings, acknowledging your social surroundings and adjusting accordingly is vital for your safety. Many cities have enforcing curfews and other laws regarding night activities, so adhering to your local recommendations is important. For example, going to a grocery store in the late evening or night can be very dangerous. You may get caught in the crossfires between law enforcement, protesters, looters and anyone near your location. Since there is so much mayhem happening, it is easy for you to get caught in unnecessary and harmful situations. Although most of the major riots and looting have died down, it’s still important to recognize your social surroundings before doing any outdoor activity.

As many cities are starting to plan out their reopening strategies, most employees are continuing to work from home. Hackers are still continuing to launch cyber attacks to gain personal information from employees. More specifically, hackers have started to target smartphones as a way to get into organizations. If hackers are able to get access to a company’s network through an employee’s phone, they can use the employee’s credentials to get company data. The amount of phishing attacks targeting smartphones have increased by over 30% in the past few months alone. Hackers are aware that many companies train their employees on how to identify phishing attacks on their computers. With smartphones, the screens are much smaller and it’s harder to detect the red flags that are easily seen with a desktop screen.

Hackers use both SMS messaging and email for smartphone targeted phishing. Doing a simple action like clicking a link or entering your credentials on a mobile browser can lead to the hackers getting your personal information. Once they are able to access your work account, they can systematically target everyone who works at your company. It’s important to stay vigilant and familiarize yourself with good mobile security practices, especially if you access work related information on your smartphone. If you’d like to learn more about how you can secure your mobile device and prevent phishing attempts, talk to an expert here.

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