CONSUMER ALERT: Guard Against Hackers When Working From Home

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody today issued a Consumer Alert urging Floridians to guard against cybercrimes when working from home. To slow the spread of COVID-19, more Americans than ever before are working remotely. The increase in online activity presents more opportunities for hackers and scammers to exploit home Wi-Fi or public internet connections to steal sensitive business or personal data.

Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Florida businesses are going to great lengths to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following the advice of health experts and allowing employees to work from home. While this is a vital step to mitigate this health crisis, it creates more opportunities for hackers and cybercriminals to steal sensitive data. I’m asking all Floridians to guard against cyberattacks and take steps to ensure sensitive information is protected.”

Steps Floridians can take to protect sensitive customer information, trade secrets or other information while working remotely include:

  • Using a secure internet connection;
  • Ensuring all security software is updated and in working order. Additionally, ensuring that the device’s operating system is updated regularly;
  • Creating strong passwords and utilizing different passwords across multiple websites and applications. Do not use easy to guess security questions;
  • Limiting the use of work devices only for work activities. Use personal devices for leisure;
  • Locking work devices when not in use and never leaving them unattended;
  • Enabling multi-factor authentication when available. Some employers allow employees to provide an additional email address or phone number to receive codes to verify that the user is in fact the individual attempting to access an account; and
  • Contacting IT if receiving unsolicited verification calls or codes. This is a sign that credentials were phished successfully, but login failed because of multi-factor authentication.

For more tips and information for employers, visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s alert by clicking here. The U.S. Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology provides additional resources for working from home here.

Anyone who suspects they are the victim of a scam should contact the Attorney General’s Office at 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or by visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.

The Attorney General also encourages consumers suspicious of price gouging to report it by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or by visiting MyFloridaLegal.com. Price gouging can also be reported to the Attorney General’s Office by downloading the free NO SCAM app in the Android or Apple app store. For tips on reporting price gouging, click here. For a list of the commodities covered under the state’s price gouging laws during the COVID-19 state of emergency, click here.

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