Palo Alto Networks shares 8 ways to protect yourself from home online scams

There’s a sharp increase of cyberattacks not only in the Philippines, but the rest of the world during this pandemic. These online criminals are using the COVID-19 virus as means to illicit ill-gotten gains. This evidence includes over 100,000 new domains being registered in the last few weeks containing words like ‘covid’, ‘virus’, ‘corona’ and others in the past few weeks. Although some might be legitimate, these new domains are most likely to be interlinked and used as a means to spread malware to unsuspecting visitors.

With millions of people now working-from-home, they must also apply the security measures implemented in their respective offices. In the current climate where real-time information about the disease is highly sought after, people working from home are easier to scam rather in the workplace
where security is stricter.

Also read: Palo Alto Networks Offers Tips for Companies to Secure its Work Environment

Palo Alto Networks shares 8 ways to protect yourself against common cyberattack methods while working from home:


The 100,000 new domains we mentioned earlier were leveraged on online search terms by placing links to malware-distributing or ad-filled web sites in web search and social media results. You need to enable your anti-virus software or better yet, stick to your trusted media sites for information.


Sharing of devices is common among family members. It is also common for the same device to be used to access company servers and used for personal activities such as gaming. Traffic to online gaming sites has increased significantly due to WFH directives, quarantine / self-isolation, students at home etc. Criminals often pepper third party sites with malware-infected apps so only download from Google Play and the Apple App Store.

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Many attacks such as meeting bombing, malicious chat links, and unauthorized attendees can be remedied through a few steps. These include enabling passwords, reviewing privacy, settings, turning on notifications so you know when someone joins, disabling the ‘join before host’ function, and the usage of your office security irrespective of which video conferencing tool you choose to use.

If you want to hold virtual gatherings with your friends, best to use your personal smartphone, laptop, or other device. Take a look at the infographic below for helpful tips. Like any application, ensure that you are using an up to date version and using the security features which are part of the application.

Palo Alto Networks 8 Ways


A lot of us has made our homes into “Smart Homes” where appliances like TVs, and fridges are connected to the internet. What we didn’t know is that these appliances offer a cybercriminal an easy attack method. Since many IoT items are manufactured with little regard to security, it is imperative that passwords are changed upon purchase.


There is so much focus on business continuity but very little on connectivity to the enterprise network from home. Home routers are connected to an internet service provider and in place for a long time often with outdated firmware. This makes home routers very vulnerable and an easy solution is to ensure the latest updates are installed and passwords changed. Honestly, when was the last time you checked if your router needed an update? Now would be a good time as cyber attackers know that we are working from home.

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Information stealing through phishing is a popular method of attack in the Philippines because it involves the bulk sending or specially crafted individual emails/messages. These messages utilize marketing techniques to hook you into signing up for Covid-19 updates, for example, and encourage you to click a link leading to malware. Make sure your work email is accessed via a corporate firewall and be on guard for anything being offered for free whether via email, chat apps, social media etc. Be wary of emails and be sure to think before you click as cyber attackers will prey on us having our guard down as we are working from home.


Buying products online and sending them overseas to those in desperate need due to scarcity of supply is something else scammers leverage. There are many cases – including overseas government procurement departments – where healthcare providers desperate for PPE gear are getting scammed. Buy only from trusted online retailers or platforms.


The cloud plays an important role in delivering software as a service so always check with your company’s IT staff that the corporate firewall infrastructure is using threat intelligence to look at traffic coming in and out of the network. This means your home devices are protected from attacks whenever you access the corporate network.

Following Palo Alto Networks 8 ways above and having a general awareness supported by sophisticated technologies helps combat cybercriminals. Every successful attempt blocked or reported goes a long way in protecting you and your personal information.

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