October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which provides a great opportunity to review your digital footprint and assess where improvements can be made. Cyber insurance continues to be one of the fastest growing specialty insurance segments, and for good reason: the threats to businesses and individuals are increasing. evolving and growing year after year.
The number one complaint by volume as documented by the most recent FBI Internet Crime Report was phishing with a total of 323,972 reported cases. Phishing is used to target individuals and businesses in an effort to steal employee credentials, financial information, and carry out commercial email compromise attacks that netted fraudsters nearly $2.4 billion last year. This number grew by more than 30% from the previous year and is not surprising when you consider the amount of time we spend online for both business and pleasure.
There are more than 5.4 billion internet users around the world and this number keeps growing every moment. The following are snapshots of what happens every second of the day online:
- 3,195,308 emails are sent
- 10,244 tweets are sent
- 106,604 searches are carried out on Google
- 98,050 YouTube videos are viewed
The number of compromised websites this year exceeded 74 million and the ransomware epidemic has exceeded $20 billion in damages when considering the losses from business interruption, remediation, and extortion payments experienced by organizations around the world.
While Embroker offers specialized cyber insurance coverage that can help clients navigate a cybersecurity incident, there are steps each individual can take to reduce digital risk and, more specifically, social engineering attacks that are one of the main causes of unauthorized access to information, systems and confidential data of the company. and more.
The average cost of a a single ransomware attack is $1.85 million.
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How to reduce your personal digital footprint
One important step is to remove personal information from data aggregation sites that scammers can use to gain valuable information. The methods behind social engineering attacks can range from gaining the trust of a target, to promises of money and prizes, to invoking fear and a sense of urgency by impersonating law enforcement, high-level executives, and government officials. Trust can be established when an attacker knows certain details about a target, such as the names of family and friends, place of residence, employment history, personal phone number, email address, and more. This type of personal information is collected in bulk from countless people data sites and aggregated for anyone to access.
Use the guide below to navigate through the data removal process. Reducing your digital footprint and offering less social engineering fuel will be a step in the right direction for greater protection this Cybersecurity Awareness Month and for years to come.
Data aggregators: Information exclusion/deletion guide
In an effort to preserve your privacy while removing your content from these data collection sites, it is recommended that you consider taking the following steps:
When you delete your personal information from the following websites, please consider creating a
anonymous email address (for example, Contactme313@) or set up an account with an email forwarding service to use for this purpose.
- The following email service providers offer users a greater sense of privacy:
These two email providers offer a secure email service with built-in end-to-end encryption. With end-to-end encryption, the email content cannot be accessed by the company itself when sending email within the network (eg ProtonMail to ProtonMail user). Only the communicating users can read the content.
- The following email forwarding services will allow you to hide your real email address on any site you register:
Note of the data deletion process: This list is not exhaustive, but it will provide a good start in reducing your digital footprint. Many of these sites may require you to be tracked before successful data removal can occur. Be sure to record the date you initially contacted the service and document once the deletion is verified. Be diligent.
Here is a list of websites where you can find your personal information listed, easily accessible, and right under your nose. These websites include the ability to delete your information. To protect yourself, your business, and your staff, it is in your best interest to do so.
Data aggregation sites
Cyber background check:
Search for real people:
People search now:
spy dials: (This service provides users with the ability to extract the outgoing cell phone message you leave for missed calls).
look at you:
Instant People Finder:
Quick people search:
Genius of the people:
people by name:
For more resources and tools to help you protect yourself or your business, check out the Embroker blog here. If you’re ready to secure your future, learn more about Ebroker Cyber Liability Insurance here.
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