After a natural disaster, phishing email scams and websites requesting donations for bogus charitable organizations often begin to appear. These emails may contain links or attachments which direct you to phishing or malware-laden websites. The recent Philippines Typhoon disaster is no exception.
The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US CERT), which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, leads the effort to improve the nation’s cyber security posture and proactively manages cyber risks.
The US CERT encourages the following measures to protect you from these types of attacks:
- Do not follow unsolicited web links or attachments in email messages
- Maintain up-to-date antivirus software
- Review these US CERT documents for additional information: Recognizing Fake Antivirus, Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks, and Recognizing and Avoiding Email Scams
- Review the Federal Trade Commission’s Charity Checklist
- Verify the legitimacy of an email by contacting the organization directly via trusted contact information, which can be found on the Better Business Bureaus’s National Charity Report Index.