Over the past couple of weeks in this Geyer Law blog, we have published lists of criminal scams about which the FBI and the IRS are warning the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, scams that have to do with everything from home mortgages to income tax information….
“The state of the world in 2020 is unlike anything we have experienced before, and it’s trickled down to have an impact on the IT and security world,” mimecast explains. 51% of organizations have suffered from a ransomware attack, and firms that have financial information about their clients are “high-value targets for cybercriminals looking for quick access to information”.
The Federal Trade Commission cautions consumers NOT TO:
* …give out personal information over the Internet unless you have initiated the contact
* …post too much personal information on social networking sites (Facebook, Instagram, etc,)
* …readily share your social security number (ask why they need it, how it will be used,
and how it will be protected)
* …click on links sent by strangers
* …send personal information over your laptop or smart phone on a public wireless
* ..use a wifi network, such as in a coffee shop, airport, or other public place
Back up your data, the UKNorton company advises. That way, if your computer were to be “infected” or “crash”, you will be able to recover the information. Meanwhile, when you are visiting different websites, check to be sure their URL begins with the letters https (the “s” stands for “secure”). If it does not, or if the site has obvious typographical errors, leave!
Neil J. Rebenking, writing in PCMagazine, names several simple things you can do to be more secure online, including:
…install an antivirus program on your computer and keep it updated
…use a unique password for each different login
…regularly “clean out” your computer by clearing your browser history
While it’s important to guard your online presence, it’s also important to include your online assets in your estate planning. Too often, after a death occurs, family members have trouble accessing information stored in a smart phone, computer, or in online accounts in “the cloud”. By taking just a few steps now, you can save your heirs a great deal of expense and heartache at the time of your death or disability. As we help our clients update their estate planning documents, we can provide language to give lawful access to digital assets to a client’s trusted agents
– by Ronnie of the Rebecca W. Geyer & Associates blog team