We live in a world that is more connected than ever before. The internet touches almost all aspects of everyone’s daily life, whether we realize it or not. Everyone needs to own, secure, and protect their digital space.
Bits and Bytes of Cybersecurity
- More than 10 million attempted cyberattacks are reported to the Pentagon every day.
- The estimated cost of a successful phishing attack on a small- or medium-sized business is $1.6 million.
- By the end of 2019, the estimated global cost of cybercrime will be $2 trillion.
- Pennsylvania is ranked second in the country for cyberattacks.
Could a Cyberattack Affect Me?
No one is safe from a cyberattack. Hackers target vulnerable computer systems regardless of whether they are part of a large corporation, small business, or belong to a home user. There are things you can do so you're systems are less vulnerable. We'll get to that soon.
These are just some of the devices that could potentially be exploited by a hacker:
- Desktop or laptop computer
- Cell phone
- Security camera
- Door lock
With all the advances in technology, how can we protect our home and digital assets?
The Stop.Think.Connect.™ campaign provides easy steps to secure your connected devices:
- Secure your Wi-Fi network. Your home’s wireless router is the primary entrance for cybercriminals. Change the factory-set default password and username.
- Enable stronger authentication. Add an extra layer of security by using a multi-factor authentication.
- Keep a clean machine. Make sure software is up-to-date and install updates for apps on your device’s operating system.
- Know your apps. Review and understand the details of an app before downloading and installing it. Also, check to make sure the vendor or creator of the app is reputable.
- Consider what you share. Limit the amount of personal information you share about yourself online.
More Tips to Prevent and Prepare
Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility.
First, we need to Own IT. Understand your digital profile. Internet-based devices are in every aspect of our lives: at home, school, work, and on the go. Understand the devices and apps you use every day to help keep you and your information safe and secure.
Then, we need to Secure IT. Cybercriminals are good at getting your personal information and their methods are getting more sophisticated as technology evolves. Protect yourself by learning about security features that are on your equipment and the software they use.
Lastly, Protect IT. Maintain your digital profile. Every click, share, send, and post you make creates a digital trail that can be exploited by cybercriminals. Become familiar with and routinely check privacy settings to help protect your privacy and limit cybercrimes. When dealing with cybercrime, an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure.
What to Do During a Cyberattack
Here are a few things to do if you suspect a cyberattack is occuring:
- Limit the damage. Look for unexplained charges, strange accounts on your credit report, unexpected denial of your credit card, posts you did not make showing up on your social networks, and people receiving emails you never sent.
- Contact banks, credit card companies, and other financial accounts. Close any unauthorized credit card accounts. Report that someone may be using your identity.
- Immediately change passwords for all of your online accounts.
- 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 and clean your device.
- Consider turning off the device. Take it to a professional to scan and fix if necessary.
- If you find a problem, disconnect your device from the Internet and perform a full system restore.
What to Do After a Cyberattack
Stop the loss! Call the company or companies where the crime occurred. Ask for the account(s) to be locked or closed. Place a fraud alert and get your free credit report and change your passwords.
Get it on record and file reports! Contact your local police department to file an official report. You also have additional options depending on the kind of attack:
To learn more about cybersecurity and what you can do to prevent it and report it, visit these resources: