Who Is Watching You?

Who Is Watching You?

| July 19, 2021
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Technology is amazing. 

Just think of all the really cool amazing things that have come about due to technology:  prosthetic implants to replace lost limbs, remote controlled/programed agricultural tractors and DOT equipment, self-driving cars, autonomous tractor trailer trucks, face-to-face phone calls, mobile computers (aka your phone) etc.  You get the point - it is amazing where technology has taken us so far and will continue to amaze us!

But with the amazing, life-changing technology, comes a darker side.

Invisible Criminals

Hackers can best be described as a skilled computer programmer or skilled computer expert.  While having those skills is not always a bad thing, it has come to be known to describe those who have taken it to a criminal level with ulterior motives. Usually the main motivation for hackers is monetary gain.  According to Tech Funnel, there are 13 types of hackers---and there are "good" ones, but we will be focusing on the "bad guys."  

  1. Black Hat Hackers - these are just doing it for the monetary gain or reputation.
  2. Blue Hat Hackers - these focus on revenge attacks.
  3. Script Kiddie - while they do not cause extensive damage, their goal is to disrupt the regular activity of a site.
  4. Social Engineering Hackers - they use psychological manipulation to make people perform certain actions.
    • *This one reminded me of two friends:
      • One was manipulated through a dating website, and was convinced via telephone and email to send in $500 to her "boyfriend" who was injured in an accident. She sent in the money. 
      • The other received a call from an "attorney" who was calling due to her son was involved in a bad accident in another state, and he was not able to use his cell phone to call her.  If she could overnight $5000 in cash to an address provided by the "attorney," charges against her son would be dropped.  She was to tell no one about the call, she could not talk with her son, and she was to overnight the money in a particular color and size envelope.  She had dropped the money off, but received a call from her son, who was not in an accident.  She was fortunately able to get the money back.  

Cybercrimes are crimes involving a computer as a tool to commit a crime or where it is the objective of the crime. This includes the following:   

  • User's personal information and access 
  • Business information, including confidential items
  • Government information, including confidential items

Common cybercrimes are:

  • Viruses
  • Phishing Emails
  • Malware
  • Cyberstalking
  • DoS Attacks
  • Identity Theft

Tighten Up Your Account

When we set up our first email account, we had to assign a password to access it.  Many of us, including myself, either put our name (first, last, or both), a pet or child's name, or even our address. 

Fast forward to 2021, and most passwords require 8 characters, including a special character, a capital letter, a lowercase letter, and a number or three. 

Other tips required include having different passwords for different accounts, in addition to changing them frequently and not using a previous one. Whew! How are we supposed to remember our passwords???  You can write it down in a secure place or utilize password managers.  Why all the craziness?  This helps keep hackers out of your business.  It's not 100%, but it may slow them down.  

  • Passwords are usually stolen in large data breaches via popular online services, and hackers use software or bots to test every username and password combination to hopefully successfully log into a website.  Think $$$$.   According to Last Pass...there are at least 280 million malicious login attempts per day, including 300,000 attempted logins per hour from a single botnet.
  • Change your password often - particularly if you think you may have been hacked.  
  • If your username is your email, add a plus sign + and any following characters up to the @ symbol.
  • Update your email and banking passwords every quarter or at least every year.  
  • Do not use the same passwords over and over.  
  • Turn on the Two-Step Authorization, facial recognition, or a fingerprint reader for additional security measures.
  • When not in use, close your webcam on your computer or cover the camera. If you notice the indicator light of your camera is on, and you are not using it, then someone has more than likely taken control of your webcam and is taking a look at you.  Check your hard drive folders and see if there are any webcam (video) files you didn't save.   Try searching for a dedicated webcam folder, otherwise it is a good idea to check all video folders.  
  • Run an antivirus app scan of your computer every couple of weeks and remove any suspicious apps or content.  Most apps tend to take 15 to 45 minutes, depending on how often you use them.  If it has been a while, plan on running the scan at the end of the day or during your lunchbreak.  
  • Be mindful of the emails that come to you.  If you receive an email and after the name, is a grayed out email address that you do not recognize, it is a good practice NOT to click on any links, videos, attachments, and to move to spam and/or block it.  
  • Signing up for Identity theft with your insurance company.  Many home insurance companies offer Identity Theft as an endorsement for minimum cost to you.  
  • Credit monitoring is offered as a free service through Nationwide via their Identify Theft coverage.  This is beneficial to you, as a monthly notification is emailed to you.  This monitoring can be as basic or as broad as needed. 

Life Ring for Your Business

As a company or business, purchasing Cyber Liability insurance to protect your clients, your confidential financial and business information is strongly suggested.  This type of policy covers the cost to recover from a data breach, virus or other cyberattack; and legal claims resulting from breach.  

  • Hackers can send phishing emails to customers pretending to be your company. Also called "shadowing" the hackers can send your clients an invoice requesting money to be sent to them, and the hacker provides a link.  If the customer clicks on the link provided, the hacker can steal the client's personal information, including access to their financial institution.  
  • Hackers can release a virus or cause ransomware to corrupt your data files.

While Cyber Liability insurance protection can be customized, there are two main components:

  1. First-party Coverage
    • Pays for the immediate expenses that a company incurs after a cyber breach:
      • Business interruption costs and missed income
      • Repairing damaged software/hardware
      • Cost of notifying public
      • Extortion money
      • Paying for credit-monitoring for customers
  2. Third-party Coverage
    • Helps the company defend against lawsuits and legal claims:
      • Breach of contract or negligence claims
      • Privacy lawsuits claiming you breached the privacy of customers and/or employees

The cost can be customized to your company, and is usually based on five factors: coverage limits, data access, security measures, type of industry, and claims history.  

We've Got Your Back

Let's talk about what cyber or identity theft options you can put in place today to protect your business or your livelihood.  

At Consultative Insurance Group, we have protection for your personal and business cyber needs. 

Call us today about and together we'll find the best insurance coverage for your insurance dollar!

Email: service@consultus4ins.com

Contact Our Team:

Request a Quote: 

We are here to help! 

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