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Protect yourself against cyber theft

As if we didn’t have enough to worry about, now our own phones and computers can be used against us. Apple inadvertently released an update with a feature enabled that makes it easy for another phone to access your phone’s information (Be sure to go under settings/general/ airdrop and turn off “bringing devices together”). Most of us keep more information in our phones than we do in our brains, which makes us susceptible to some underhanded tactics.

TYPES OF CYBERCRIME

Hopefully you haven’t already been a victim, but always be on guard for various types of cybercrime. These include phishing (sending emails or texts impersonating a bank or a popular website to trick you into providing personal information), ransomware (downloading a file that locks you out of your data and demands money in exchange for restoring access), identity theft (stealing social or credit card information and committing fraud), data breach (obtaining unauthorized access to your business information), account takeover (hacking your account to gain access to your connections) and skimming (using a device to steal credit or debit card information when users insert their cards at ATMs or other payment terminals).

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF

To avoid falling victim to these tactics, be conscious of your surroundings and take the following precautions:

  • Use strong, unique passwords. Be creative, and use anagrams and acronyms and numbers and characters.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication, which requires additional verification for access.
  • Don’t click links in emails/ texts, and confirm that the sender’s email is legit before responding.
  • Keep your software updated, and use antivirus and anti-malware software on all devices.
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi networks unless you are using a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your data and protect your online activities.
  • Monitor your financial accounts, and turn on alerts for suspicious activity.

CONSIDER COVERAGE

Cyber insurance and identify theft insurance are good protections to consider because they help businesses and consumers mitigate the financial risks associated with cyberattacks and data breaches. Cyber insurance can cover the costs of data recovery, legal fees, public relations efforts and even potential fines or penalties. Insurance providers often have a network of professionals who help with incident response, forensic investigations and implementing necessary security measures to prevent future attacks.

Cyber insurance also can help businesses manage reputational damage resulting from a cyber incident. Insurance providers can offer guidance on public relations strategies and support businesses in rebuilding customer trust. Having cyber insurance can help businesses meet contractual obligations and regulatory requirements.

Many organizations now require their partners or vendors to have cyber insurance as part of their risk-management strategy. Identity theft insurance helps with legal fees, lost wages and the cost of replacing important documents that have been compromised.


Angelyn Treutel Zeringue is President of SouthGroup Insurance Services, a CPA, PWCAM CBIA, and licensed Trusted Choice Insurance Agent. Reach her at www.southgroupgulfcoast.com, (228) 385-1177 or azeringue@southgroup.net.

Written by Angelyn Treutel Zeringue

Angelyn Treutel Zeringue is President of SouthGroup Insurance Services, a CPA, PWCAM, CBIA and licensed Trusted Choice Insurance Agent. Reach her at www.southgroupgulfcoast.com, (228) 385-1177 or azeringue@southgroup.net.

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