A recent Privacy Peril advised of the increasing cyber risk from nation state attacks, particularly as a result of the war in Ukraine. There is, of course, little we can do to thwart cyber assaults on vital nerve centers. However, we can and should look at the current scene as a reminder we are all at constant risk from cyber criminals of all sorts and sources. The fundamentals of cyber hygiene remain the same:

  1. Apply all security updates.
  2. Use secure, unique passwords.
  3. Refrain from use of unsecure public Wi-Fi networks.
  4. Use multi-factor authentication when available.
  5. Don’t fall for phishing or spoofing emails.
  6. Maintain a healthy skepticism of internet claims and advertisements. “Zero Trust” has replaced “trust but verify.”

One often-overlooked protection step is to securely preserve the information you already have. Regularly back-up your data, whether to the cloud (for example, Google Drive, Apple iCloud, Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon Drive or Dropbox) or locally (a USB / thumb drive or an external hard drive) or, preferably, both. Limited cloud storage is often free, and expanded storage is well-worth the cost to preserve your precious photos and expensive music library. Depending on the service, approximately $25 per year will get you 100 GB (gigabytes) of storage. A 1 TB (terabyte) external hard drive can be had for $50 on Amazon which is sufficient  so long as you do not need to back up more than 250,000 photos, 250 movies, 500 hours of video recordings, 6.5 million pages of documents, 200,000 songs or 17,000 hours of music. Other options include a 2 TB or 5 TB hard drive.

Check out our series, Privacy Perils, to learn what steps you can take to guard your personal and company data. For more information about this topic and other cyber security concerns, please contact a member of our Privacy & Data Security team.