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It’s getting harder to keep up with hackers

Five tips to help protect your data from cyber attacks

Experts predict that a recent wave of cyber attacks may signal an upsurge in hacking activity. So, it’s a good time to review your online security and take precautions when using personal computers, laptops and smartphones.

Hackers and cybercriminals step up their game

Cybercriminals continue to target Internet connected devices with increasingly sophisticated malware and schemes. Some exploit vulnerabilities in common computer operating systems, while others trick consumers and employees with phony emails.

WannaCry ransomware

The WannaCry ransomware virus affected computers worldwide by targeting older versions of Windows software and bootlegged software that could not be properly updated. Cybercriminals encrypted the computer files of victims and demanded $300 to $600 to unlock the data.

Adylkuzz virus hijacks computers

A different type of malware, the Adylkuzz virus, was then discovered to be affecting hundreds of thousands of computers and servers. Harder to detect, Adylkuzz did not demand a ransom, but instead hijacked computers to use their processing power for other purposes. That caused severe system slowdowns without many of the victims suspecting a cyber attack.

New malware and phishing schemes

Security experts warn these attacks are only the beginning of increasingly aggressive and sophisticated cyber threats. Hackers have even accessed computers, phones and smart TVs through the subtitles embedded in streaming videos.

How you can protect your data

Cybercriminals are always looking for victims who don’t keep up with software and security updates. The best defense is to download the latest versions and be careful when using connected devices.

Here are five tips to help prevent a cyber attack.

  1. Install updates for operating systems regularly.
  2. Back up critical data.
  3. Use an antivirus program and keep it up to date.
  4. Businesses, train employees. Consumers be aware when online. Don’t fall for phishing emails, or click on suspicious attachments and web links. Verify the sender of the email and copy and paste web addresses into a browser.
  5. Check your insurance policy. Cyber insurance coverage is available that provides coverage for online fraud, extortion and other ransomware attacks.

More information on cyber security

Click here for steps that individuals should take to safeguard personal information. Here are additional security tips for businesses to protect private data.

Insurance for cyber threats

HSB offers a range of insurance for data and information exposures. HSB Cyber Suite helps businesses respond to breach of personal information, computer attacks, cyber extortion, network security liability, identity theft, electronic media liability, and more.

Visit our products page for information about our cyber insurance programs. Or contact your HSB representative.

It’s getting harder to keep up with hackers