Cyber threats are silent, stealthy, and cutthroat intruders.

Attacks come seemingly out of nowhere. And viruses spread like wild fire. The intent? To wipe out your entire system and everything within its reach. They rip through your devices corrupting files. And simultaneously they gather your personal information.  Just like a wild fire they jump across the internet freeway launching attacks on your connections. Cyber risks are multidimensional and boundless. Some threats are more serious and complex than others, but the effects sweep mercilessly across individuals, communities, and organizations both locally and nationally.

Prepare for an Attack

Just like prepping for potential damage from a storm or securing your home against burglary there are certain measures that will decrease the chances of a cyber attack. Follow these tips to protect yourself, your family and your property from a cyber incident:

  • Use only secure, password protected networks to connect to the internet.
  • Never click on links or pop-ups, open attachments or respond to emails from strangers.
  • Remember: Financial institutions, universities and most businesses will never ask for your personal information over the internet – if asked do not respond.
  • Review the privacy settings on your social media accounts to limit what information your are sharing and with who.
  • Trust your own intuition – if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.
  • Password protect all devices that connect to the internet and all user accounts.
  • Never use the same password twice. Choose passwords that are personal to you and only you.
  • Report anything suspicious to proper authorities.
  • Contact your insurance agent to discuss coverage options.

In the midst of an Attack

Just like a fire escape plan, knowing what to do during a cyber attack will help reduce the potential damage of an attack. These are the first things you’ll want to do:
  • Ensure that the software on all of your systems is up to date.
  • Run a security scan on your system to identify suspicious programs or viruses.
  • If a problem is detected, disconnect your device from the internet and perform a full system restore.
If you’re at home
  • Disconnect your device from the internet. This will prevent the attacker or virus from accessing your computer.
  • Run the anti-virus software installed on your computer. Install necessary patches to repair gaps in protection.
If you’re at work
  • Contact your IT expert or department immediately. The quicker the problem is uncovered and cleaned, the less damage to your computer and others on the network.
  • Make your organization aware of any possible breach of sensitive information. This creates increased awareness of suspicious activity.
After an Attack
  • File a police report, so there is an official record of the incident.
  • If any of your personal identifying information is compromised consider other accounts or information that is subsequently at risk. Personal identifying information includes things like your full name, social security number, address, date of birth, place of birth, drivers license number, license plate number, credit card numbers or physical appearance.
Cyber incidents are near impossible to predict. There is little to no warning and some go on for weeks, months or years before detection. Limit your risks by knowing how to prepare for an attack, what to do in the midst of an attack and how to clean up after an attack.

Are you interested in discussing cyber security coverage options in your home or at work? Call us!

Your super enthusiastic insurance-girl