The Association is asking member dentists and their dental teams to increase their vigilance over phishing emails as a result of the coronavirus, known as COVID-19.
Attackers often use emergencies as an opportunity to send fake emails tailored to that situation, the Association said.
A phishing email disguises itself as coming from a trustworthy source in an attempt to obtain sensitive information, such as usernames and passwords, by tricking the recipient into clicking on a link or opening a document and then providing sensitive information. Attackers also may use a phishing email to infect computers with ransomware, malware or other computer viruses.
Dental team members should watch out for emails that try to use the pandemic to trick them into clicking on a link. For example, the message could be “click here to see the location of COVID-19 cases in your neighborhood” or something similar. Before clicking on any link in an email, take a very close look at the email, the ADA advises.
Those that receive an email that looks unfamiliar, or prompts the receiver to do something unusual, should think about the request before proceeding with any instructions.
If an email seems suspicious, the Association said, the recipient should check with someone else before clicking on the link or taking any other action. Dentists who receive a message from sender that looks suspicions should not respond to the email. Instead, they should give the person a call or send a separate email.
The Federal Trade Commission recommends phishing victims forward phishing emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com and report the incident to the commission at FTC.gov/complaint.
The ADA Center for Professional Success offers several ways member dentists can protect themselves against cyberattacks. Steps include training staff on basic data security, backing up data regularly and keeping a copy off-site, being wary of attachments and web links include with suspicious emails and maintaining cyber defenses such as anti-virus and anti-malware software. Visit Success.ADA.org to learn more.