Personal Risk Advisory: Six Tips to Help You After a Cyber Incident
Cyber criminals have recently begun migrating their attacks from larger businesses and organizations to private wealth clients.
With information like your Social Security Number and birthdate, scammers can file tax returns, steal from investment accounts, or rack up medical bills. Be careful to protect your ‘paths of least resistance’ which include your email, home, personal devices and your family.
While becoming a victim of a cyber attack is never your fault, there are several things you can do to prevent cyber crime from happening to your family:
- Avoid over-sharing personal information. Never share personal information with anyone calling you (full Social Security Numbers, addresses, etc.)
- Use extreme caution with wire transfers – verify change requests verbally with the number you have on file (not the number given to you in their request).
- Install software updates as soon as possible. Updating your operating systems is one of the easiest ways to prevent cyber crime.
- Watch for fake emails. Do not open links or attachments from unrecognized emails. Check for misspellings or wrong domains within a link (i.e. amazonn.com).
If you believe you are a victim of cybercrime, would like to learn best practices, or have suspicious activity to report, please find six helpful strategies below.
- Sign up for fraud alert: Due to the rise of cyber attacks, many companies have begun to offer fraud alert programs, which monitor threats to your identity and send you alerts via phone/text/email. Choose an alert program that best suits your needs (e.g. LifeLock, IDShield, IBM Fraud, etc.).
- Freeze your credit: As mentioned in Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information, freezing your credit may help to prevent the opening of new accounts. Although you must contact each of the three credit bureaus directly (via online or telephone) freezing your credit reduces the ability to create fraudulent accounts in your name.
- Obtain password protection: Password protection is more critical now than ever. Companies like Dashlane, Webroot, or mSecure all offer password management features to prevent your online accounts from being hacked.
- Report all scams to the FBI: File a complaint with the IC3 if you believe you have been the victim of an Internet crime at ic3.gov or identitytheft.gov.
- Create a pin with the IRS for filing taxes: You may voluntarily opt into the PIN program as a proactive way to protect yourself from tax-related identity theft. To opt-in, use the ‘Get an IP PIN’ tool online. If you don’t already have an account on IRS.gov, you must register to validate your identity.
- Submit a homeowner claim: Your personal insurance advisor is here to help! Several insurance carriers are now providing personal cyber protection. This can protect clients against many types of cybercrime, including cyber extortion, online fraud, and systems attacks.
The personal risk advisors at Oswald are ready to respond to your insurance and risk management needs.
For more information, visit our Cyber Risk and Personal Risk pages or contact me directly.
Associate Client Executive
(Sources: Cyber Attacks Migrate to the Wealthy & Family Offices: Learn About Attack Tactics & Ways to Stay Safe (June 2020 Webinar), FBI Sees Rise in Fraud Schemes Related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Pandemic Fraud alert or credit freeze – which is right for you?, Consumer Information, Federal Trade Commission ftc.gov)
Note: This communication is for informational purposes only. Although every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, Oswald makes no guarantees of any kind and cannot be held liable for any outdated or incorrect information. View our communications policy.