While there are certain threats of danger that prompt us to take immediate, physical action — like taking cover in a basement during a tornado or being told to stop, drop, and roll in the event of a fire — cyber threats are often more difficult to identify, understand, and eliminate.
Cyber threats are seemingly endless. They may include the use of online viruses to infect and erase entire operating systems; hacking into systems to alter and ruin important files; intruders using your computer or device to alter someone else’s system; the theft of confidential information; the list goes on.
The spectrum of cyber risks is limitless. Threats, some more serious and sophisticated than others, can have wide-ranging effects on the individual, community, organizational and national levels.
Before a Cyber Attack
You can increase your chances of avoiding cyber risks by setting up proper controls. Implement the following to protect yourself, your family and your property before a cyber incident occurs:
- Only connect to the internet over secure, password-protected networks.
- Avoid clicking on links or pop-ups, opening attachments or responding to emails from strangers.
- Do not respond to online requests for personally identifiable information (PII). Most organizations—such as banks, universities and businesses—will never ask for your personal information over the internet.
- Limit who you share information with by reviewing the privacy settings on your social media accounts.
- Trust your instincts. If you think an offer is too good to be true, it probably is.
- Password-protect all devices that connect to the internet and all user accounts.
- Do not use the same password twice—choose a password that means something to you and you only. Change your passwords on a regular basis (every 90 days or so).
- If you see something suspicious, report it to the proper authorities.
The extent, nature and timing of cyber incidents are impossible to predict. Some cyber incidents take an extended period of time (weeks, months or years) to be discovered and identified. So the sooner you can ensure you’re protected, the better.
During a Cyber Attack
Think you’ve been hacked or attacked? Take the following actions to protect yourself as soon as possible:
- Check to make sure the software on all of your systems is up to date.
- Run a scan to make sure your system is not infected or acting suspiciously.
- If you find a problem, disconnect your device from the internet and perform a full system restore.
- Disconnect your device (e.g., computers, gaming systems or tablets) from the internet. By removing the internet connection, you prevent an attacker or virus from being able to access your computer and perform tasks such as locating personal data, manipulating or deleting files, or using your device to attack others.
- If you have anti-virus software installed on your computer, update the virus definitions, if possible, and perform a manual scan of your entire system. Install all of the appropriate patches to fix known vulnerabilities.
- If you have access to an IT department, contact someone in it immediately. The sooner someone can investigate and clean your computer, the less damage to your computer and other computers on the network.
- If you believe you might have revealed sensitive information about your organization, report it to the appropriate people within the organization, including network administrators. They can be alert for any suspicious or unusual activity.
- Immediately inform a manager or authority figure in charge. If someone has access to an IT department, contact the department immediately.
After a Cyber Attack
- File a report with the local police so there is an official record of the incident.
- Report online crime or fraud to the Internet Crime Compliant Center (IC3) or the federal government’s internet fraud resource website. Report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission.
- If your PII was compromised, consider other information that may be at risk. Depending what information was stolen, you may need to contact other agencies. You should also contact your state’s DMV for transportation if your driver’s license or car registration has been stolen.
In addition to insuring your home and protecting your business, Robins Insurance is committed to helping you and your loved ones stay safe when disaster strikes — whether it happens “in the real world” or in the online world.
Request a consultation below to learn more about the benefits of cyber liability insurance or to inquire about adding cyber coverage to your current policy: