My 5 tips to help prevent Cyber crime happening in our neighbourhood

Our family once lived in Forestdale but moved to the Hillcrest area earlier this year. Last year we had a break-in at our Forestdale home, losing a computer and a few other valuable items. The assets were hard enough to lose but with the loss of the computer, now we realised we were also at risk of Cyber crime.

We thought by sharing some these 5 tips, we might help prevent any Cyber crime happening in our neighbourhood.

What is cyber crime? 

Cyber crime encompasses almost any criminal activity that can be perpetrated via the internet and computers.

Cyber crimes include cyber-stalking, industrial espionage and information theft, fraud, extortion, identity theft, phishing scams and cyber terrorism. Cyber criminals use malware and viruses, computer and network hacking, denial of service attacks and fraudulent online scams to perpetrate their crimes. They find it relatively easy to access computers and networks inadequately protected by virus software or passwords. They will also directly steal laptops, computers and mobile devices and take advantage of computers that are left unattended.


Case studies of Cyber Claims

These are actual case studies that demonstrate the breadth of cyber crime issues:

  • Retail – A hacker accessed a retailer’s network and stole the personal details of 15 million customers. The retailer incurred significant costs to deal with the breach including forensic costs, notification costs, fines and credit monitoring costs. Liability claims followed.
  • Hotel – A hotel group’s point of sale network was hacked and credit card details of six million customers were taken. The hotel experienced high forensic costs to isolate the hack. Additional expenses included mandatory notification costs and fines. The hotel offered all of the individuals two years of credit monitoring services. They also received liability claims for damages from banks.
  • Airline – An airline received a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, bringing down their online sales platform for 48 hours. The airline experienced a significant loss of revenue during the network downtime plus serious costs in dealing with the issue.
  • Financial Services – An employee of a financial services company left a laptop, containing the personal financial details of its clients, in a public place. Costs included the hire of a PR firm, notification of all of the customers affected, setup of an ID theft/credit alert service call centre and credit monitoring services.


Tips for preventing cyber attacks

Passwords, email, social networking and out-of date software all provide opportunities for cyber criminals. To prevent attacks:

  1. Protect your computer with both a firewall and an anti-virus program. Keep your anti-virus program up-to-date and remember to renew your annual subscription.
  2. Back-up all important data. Viruses and malware can destroy vital information.
  3. Create a password of more than six characters with a combination of letters and numbers. Do not save the password on your computer or share it with others and change it regularly.
  4. Email is the most likely route for viruses and hackers. Do not open any email attachments from people you do not know.Use the privacy settings on social networking sites to prevent malicious access to your personal information.
  5. Use the privacy settings on social networking sites to prevent malicious access to your personal information.

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