Don’t Fall Victim to Cybercrime

Cybercrime has risen immensely since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, largely due to the sudden sharp increase in employees working remotely. This month, we focused on both email and mobile phishing attacks, as 36% of successful corporate cyberattacks have involved phishing. Already, hackers have ransomed millions of dollars from organizations since the beginning of the pandemic, making cyber hygiene even more necessary than ever before.

This past month, we’ve focused on providing you with the latest news on cybercriminal tactics and ways to stay safe online. Our first week’s blog focused on the basics of cyber hygiene: creating a routine, using multi-factor authentication, creating long and unique passwords, implementing a password manager to store those passwords, and keeping software updated. Therefore, here we’ll recap the 4 most effective things you can do to avoid cybercrime:


  1. Manage social media settings
    • Cybercriminals often utilize social engineering to obtain sensitive information, so be mindful of what you post publicly. Even posting seemingly benign information like your pet’s name or your mother’s maiden name can expose answers to common security questions.
  2. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
    • A VPN encrypts all traffic leaving your devices until it arrives at its destination. If a hacker accesses your communication line, they won’t be able to intercept any non-encrypted information. VPNs are useful for a variety of purposes, such as:
      • When using public Wi-Fi
      • When accessing sites that contain sensitive information
      • Hiding private information from your browsing history and/or apps, which may otherwise be accessible to criminals if hacked
  1. Talk to family about internet security
    • Whether it’s your kids or your parents, talk to those you live with or who may not be tech-savvy about online threats
    • Communicate with your kids about acceptable use of the internet
    • Make sure your children know that they can come to you about online issues like bullying, stalking, or harassment
    • Inform those who are not as tech savvy (like your kids and/or parents) about the markers of online identity theft attempts
      • Be careful when sharing your family members’ personal information
      • Know that children are popular targets of identity theft because their social Security number and credit histories represent a clean slate
  1. Stay updated on major security breaches
    • If you hear about a website or ecommerce site that you use has been hacked, find out what information has been accessed and change your password immediately
    • You can use sites like this one to find out if your email or phone number has been compromised in a security breach. If it has- change the passwords to sites that have been compromised ASAP
    • One of the ways you can stay up to date is by reading our blog, where we frequently post updates about the latest major cybersecurity news


What Should I do if I Fall Victim to Cybercrime?

Though it’s important to know how to best prevent cybercrime from happening, its equally as important to know what to do if you believe hackers have accessed your device or data. Depending on the situation, you may need to alert your local police, the Federal Trade Commission, or even the FBI. Even if you think the cybercrime is minor, you should always report it. The malicious capabilities of hackers are broad and harmful* and should not be underestimated. Reporting may assist authorities detect cybercrimes and criminals in the future. If you think your information has been stolen, you should first contact the companies/banks where you know fraud occurred. Then, fraud alerts should be placed in your credit reports if bank information has been compromised. Lastly, if your identify has been stolen, identify theft can be reported to the FTC.


If you’re unsure how to navigate the waters of cyber hygiene, reach out to us at or call us at (571) 370-5777.  Do your part and be cyber smart!