Ready Raleigh Cyber Security Emergency

Cyberattacks

Emergency Preparedness - Ready Raleigh Guide


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Before a cyberattack During a cyberattack

Cyberattacks are malicious attempts to access or damage a computer system. Cyberattacks can use computers, mobile phones, gaming systems or other devices. They can include identity theft, blocking access or deleting personal documents and pictures, and cause problems with business services, transportation and power. Some cyberattacks target children.

Risks from cyberattacks

  • Theft of personal information
  • Loss of money
  • Damage to your reputation
  • Threats to your personal safety

Before a cyberattack

You can increase your chances of avoiding cyber risks by setting up the proper controls. The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your property before a cyberattack occurs:

  • Use strong passwords that are 12 characters or longer. Use upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Use a password manager.
  • Use a stronger authentication such as a PIN or password that only you would know. Consider using a separate device that can receive a code or uses a biometric scan (such as a fingerprint scanner).
  • Watch for suspicious activity that asks you to do something right away, offers something that sounds too good to be true or needs your personal information. Think before you click.
  • Check your account statements and credit reports regularly.
  • Use secure Internet communications.
  • Use sites that use HTTPS if you will access or provide any personal information. Do not use sites with invalid certificates. Use a virtual private network (VPN) that creates a secure connection.
  • Use antivirus solutions and firewalls to block threats. • Regularly back up your files in an encrypted file or encrypted file storage device.
  • Limit the personal information you share online. Change privacy settings and do not use location features.
  • Protect your home network by changing the administrative and Wi-Fi passwords regularly. When configuring your router, choose the Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) setting, which is the strongest encryption option.

Protect yourself against a cyberattack

  • Keep software and operating systems up-to-date.
  • Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication (two methods of verification).
  • Watch for suspicious activity. When in doubt, don’t click. Do not provide personal information.
  • Use encrypted (secure) internet communications.
  • Create backup files.
  • Protect your home and/or business Wi-Fi network.

During a cyberattack

  • Limit the damage. Look for unexplained charges, strange accounts on your credit report, unexpected denial of your credit card, posts you did not make showing up on your social networks and people receiving emails you never sent. 
  • Immediately change passwords for all of your online accounts.
  • Scan and clean your device.
  • Consider turning off the device. Take it to a professional to scan and fix.
  • Let work, school or other system owners know.
  • Contact banks, credit card companies and other financial accounts. You may need to place holds on accounts that have been attacked. Close any unauthorized credit or charge accounts. Report that someone may be using your identity. 
  • Check to make sure the software on your systems is up to date.
  • Run a scan to make sure your system is not infected or acting suspiciously.
  • If you find a problem, disconnect your device from the Internet and perform a full system restore.
  • If you’re in a public setting immediately inform a librarian, teacher or manager in charge to contact their IT department.
Department:
Emergency Management and Special Events
Service Categories:
Emergency Management

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