Cybercrime and How It Can Affect You!
What is Cybercrime?
Like traditional crime, cybercrime covers a broad scope of criminal activity and can occur anytime and anyplace. What makes it different is that the crime is committed using a computer and the Internet. You may recognize some of its most common forms such as identity theft, computer viruses and phishing, and at a corporate level, computer hacking of customer databases.
Most people are aware of these and protect themselves and their PCs with anti-spyware and anti-virus software such as Norton or McAfee programs. However, you should be alert to the fact that cybercrime is becoming more and more sophisticated and not only targets consumers and large corporations, but small to medium sized businesses as well. Single programs against these intrusions are not enough.
An alarming cybercrime now affecting everyone is “account take over.” This involves cyber criminals penetrating a computer network and spreading malicious software, such as a “keylogger” which records the words typed, Web browsing history, passwords and other private information. This in turn allows them access to programs using your log-in credentials.
If they steal your password and breach your online banking system, the cyber criminal can begin an online session to initiate funds transfers, by ACH or wire transfer, to their accomplices. The accomplices withdraw the money almost immediately.
Take the first steps to prevent fraud – become aware of the latest cybercrimes and how they can access your network. You should also employ the most up-to-date online security practices on a pro-active basis.
Online Security Practices
While no tools or automated software is 100% effective, the best solutions to protect yourself against liability is to be well informed and use common sense.
1. Do you have a hardware based firewall at the network level?
2. Does the network firewall include anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-spam services along with content filtering and intrusion prevention, detection and real-time reporting?
3. At the individual PC level, does each computer have centrally updated and monitored anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-spam software loaded?
4. Are your computers set up to automatically update your operating system and applications for the latest available security and critical updates?
5. Do you consider your browser security setting to determine how much or how little information the browser can accept from, or transmit to, a website?
6. Do you have cybercrime insurance to protect your data and liability exposure in the event of an intrusion?
7. Does your online banking system provide multiple layers of security tools to prevent intrusions into the system such as token-based authentication?
These are just some of the basic steps you can implement to assess and protect yourself from cybercrime.
If you become a victim:
If you discover, or even suspect, you have fallen victim to identity theft, you should proceed as follows:
- Immediately cease all online activity.
- Remove the affected computer from a network, if applicable and any other computer stations involved.
- Contact your financial institution to disable online access to the accounts and close affected accounts. You can then open new accounts and reset passwords.
- Notify other partners that may have been affected, such as your insurance carriers or financial institutions.
- File a report with the police department.
What We Can Do
“At the Bogle Agency, we can custom-tailor an insurance policy which protects you or your business against cyber exposure of this type,” said Philip Bogle, owner. “Since this kind of intrusion is still new and not fully defined, we can take the risk out of any problem you might encounter.”
“Why worry if you may or may not be covered, when we can guarantee your safety and assets,” added Bogle “Our job is to make sure you are covered and comfortable against any threats which exist. Feel free to give us a call today to discuss your options into this ever-growing threat.”
Common Online Fraud Definitions
- Malware refers to software programs designed to damage or do other unwanted actions on a computer system. Common examples of malware include spyware, keyloggers, and viruses.
- Spyware is a type of malware installed on your computer without your knowledge. It collects small to large pieces of personal information including Internet surfing habits. It can redirect web browser activity and change computer settings. Spyware is typically hidden from the user, and can be difficult to detect once installed without proper antispyware tools.
- Keyloggers, as with spyware, are installed on your computer without your knowledge. It is the action of tracking (or logging) the keys struck on a keyboard, typically in a hidden manner so that the person using the keyboard is unaware that their actions are being monitored. Keystroke logging can record the words typed, Web browsing history, passwords and other private information. This is extremely dangerous in all aspects of computer usage.
- Viruses are an ever changing and constant threat to all systems. Based on their digital makeup they can deliver malicious content to your data and systems in an effort to either collect data, destroy data, or turn your systems into a machine that spreads the virus or other malware.
- “Phishing” is the act of obtaining personal information or spreading malware using emails, calls, text messages or pop-up messages from what appear to be friends or legitimate banks, retailers, government agencies or other organizations.