Cyberattacks are a technologically advanced form of terrorism where computer hackers gain access to your personal and financial information via the computer.
In the process, they obtain highly sensitive data such as your social security number, bank accounts, and the passwords to any or all of your accounts.
These attacks could be smaller in scope, limited to a few people or small businesses, or more large-scale, targeting massive corporations or several cities at once. With the accessibility of technology, the possibilities for size and scope of cyberattacks are virtually endless.
Recently, various U.S. leaders have made some alarming public statements concerning the possibility of Russian cyberattacks on the United States. While no definitive timeline for a cyberattack has been given, there is still cause for concern.
Regarding the current war waged by Russia on Ukraine, and the resulting sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States, the likelihood of Russian cyberattacks—in retaliation to the sanctions—has increased exponentially over the last couple of weeks.
In a news story published to ABC News, Alejandro Mayorkas, Homeland Security Secretary, stressed the importance of protecting your information in the event of a data breach. He said, “Organizations of every size and across every sector should continue enhancing their cybersecurity defenses.”
So, how do you prepare for a cyberattack?
There’s not exactly a household manual on how to deal with computer hackers. Fortunately, there are some specific steps you can take to protect your accounts.
Four simple strategies you can have in place right now to protect your data are to:
- Change your passwords to all accounts
- Ensure all passwords are strong
- Enable multi-factor authentication
- Back up all stored information
Remember—preparation is key! The more prepared you are, the less reason you have to panic in the event of a cyber crisis.