The potential threat of cyber-attacks and the subsequent damage that they can cause should come as no surprise to most people. Unfortunately, there is a significant difference between knowing about a threat and knowing what to do about it. One of the best things to do initially is to actually understand the most common areas of risk exposure and some simple and inexpensive ways to avoid them.
Before getting into the details, it’s valuable to understand the type of information that needs to be protected. Things like ID numbers, social security numbers, and credit card information are obvious to most people. What people don’t realize, however, is that seemingly mundane information like phone numbers, home addresses, or even names are sometimes just as valuable to attackers. One piece of information can often be utilized in a subsequent attack to retrieve even more information, which can eventually paint an entire picture for a would-be attacker.
So what are some simple ways to protect sensitive information from an attack? Here are a few to consider:
· Become aware (and make others aware) of how common email phishing attacks can be. Don’t click suspicious links or open attachments from the email without scanning them first, even from known sources.
· Be cognizant of what you are sharing publicly on social media and pay close attention to your privacy settings. Just consider this: when you forget your email password and you are asked some security questions to recover it, are the answers readily available on your social media pages?
· Periodically change your passwords. Nothing stays safe forever. Also ensure you aren’t using the same passwords across multiple sites.
· Many online systems utilize two-factor authentication as an added layer of security. It pays to make use of these systems.
The most common way that attackers get what they want, particularly when it comes to computer systems and information, might come as a surprise to many people. Often, victims will voluntarily give up the information either through email or through phone calls by attackers pretending to be someone who they are not. This can easily be stopped by learning the common techniques used and verifying the identification of individuals requesting the information, regardless of whom they are claiming to be.
Cyber liability insurance, of course, is also a necessity. But while it’s best to have cyber liability insurance when it is needed, it is just as important to try everything possible to avoid situations where it will become necessary to begin with.
How well are you protecting yourself from cyber threats? Do you have precautions in place? If not, we can help you get started on a plan today. Contact us at 952-941-9418 or visit nesbitagencies.com.