With information technology accelerating all around us it is clear that defending our digital data will be an ongoing battle in the future. More and more people are sharing sensitive information about themselves on the internet, and as businesses continue to transition to the digital landscape, there are more hands in the information cookie jar. These advances allows us connection and convenience, but also come with an increased risk of identity theft. Breaches of consumer’s personal information have steadily risen over the past decade, leaving the public and businesses desperate to protect themselves.

For that reason the Department of Homeland Security has designated October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Staying up-to-date with the common cybercrimes and following best practices for your digital date can help to protect your personal and/or business assets. Find information & tips from the Department of Homeland Security below and on their website:

Common Cybercrimes  

  • Identity theft is the illegal use of someone else’s personal information in order to obtain money or credit. How will you know if you’ve been a victim of identity theft? You might get bills for products or services you did not purchase. Your bank account might have withdrawals you didn’t expect or unauthorized charges.
  • Phishing attacks use email to collect personal and financial information or infect your machine with malware and viruses. Cybercriminals use legitimate-looking emails that encourage people to click on a link or open an attachment. The email they send can look like it is from an authentic financial institution, e-commerce site, government agency, or any other service or business.
  • Imposter scams happen when you receive an email or call seemingly from a government official, family member, or friend requesting that you wire them money to pay taxes or fees, or to help someone you care about. Cybercriminals use legitimate looking emails that encourage people to send them money or personal information.

Best Digital Practices

  • Keep a clean machine. Update the security software and operating system on your computer and mobile devices. Keeping the software on your devices up to date will prevent attackers from taking advantage of known vulnerabilities.
  • When in doubt, throw it out. Stop and think before you open attachments or click links in emails. Links in email, instant message, and online posts are often the way cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, it’s best to delete it.
  • Use stronger authentication. Always opt to enable stronger authentication when available, especially for accounts with sensitive information including your email or bank accounts. A stronger authentication helps verify a user has authorized access to an online account.

If you own a business the stakes are even higher, the onus to protect to information of your clients and employees is on your shoulders. Ensure you have the correct protections in place and try our Cyber Privacy Profile today or reach out to Ed McGuire, Director of Specialty Insurance at FBinsure.


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