Cyber Liability in Cleveland Ohio
If you've followed our blog for any length of time, you know that we try to give you as much relevant content as possible. We cover topics that could affect you in your personal life as well as your work environment. There is nothing more relevant right now than Cyber Liability and the risks that are associated with the internet and the flow of information that occurs there. Whether it be personal images or messages you don't want shared, personal financial information, or information regarding your business that could be devastating in the wrong hands. There are a ton of positives that come from the ability to trade information instantly, but those positives have risks associated with them as well. We titled this article, Cleveland cyber liability, not because the threat it greater in the Cleveland area, but because that's where we live and work and you are the people that we most want to inform when it comes to keeping yourself and your business safe while working online.
If you do live in the Cleveland area, or just Ohio in general (if not, you can continue reading, don't worry) and you want to know more about how you can better protect yourself online, you can check out our previous post that is titled, Your Online Privacy is for Sale, How can you Protect It?, or you can check out the tips that we've pulled from that article and posted below. To read the full article you can simply click the name of the article above.
How can you better protect yourself online?
Use HTTPS Everywhere
The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s HTTPS Everywhere browser extension is one of the first things you should install. This extension requires that all website connections to your browser occur using SSL/TLS encryption. That means the content of what you’re viewing will be protected from passive collection by your ISP. The only time the extension won’t force HTTPS is when the site you’re connecting to doesn’t support the protocol.
It’s a great little extension that starts working as soon as you install it. What it doesn’t do, however, is stop your ISP from seeing which sites you visit. Only the contents of your communication are protected. So your ISP will know you visited YouTube, but not what you watched while you were there, or the specific pages you visited.
HTTPS Everywhere is available for Firefox (desktop and Android), Chrome, and Opera.
Get a paid virtual private network
Your next step is to subscribe to a paid virtual private network service—not a free one that collects your data and sells it to third parties for analytics, or uses ads to support its free service, because that would negate the entire point of all this. You want a VPN that you pay to keep your data private. This should cost somewhere around $40 to $60 per year.
A VPN is like an encrypted tunnel between you and the Internet. You connect directly to your VPN (a connection your ISP will see) and then all Internet browsing goes through the VPN’s servers and blocks third parties from snooping. Once you’ve picked and configured a VPN, set it to start up automatically and funnel all your Internet traffic through there.
Choosing a VPN is a bit of a tricky business since you want a provider that collects and stores a minimum amount of data about your browsing. Freedome VPN pledges not to log your traffic and is run by F-Secure, an established and reputable name in Internet security. Some VPN providers offer helpful extra features, such as an Internet kill switch that immediately shuts off your PC’s Internet access when your VPN gets disconnected.
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You also want your VPN to protect against DNS leaks, which is a problem we’ll get to next.
Adjust your DNS
The Domain Name System is how your computer translates a human readable website name, such as NYTimes.com, into a machine-friendly numerical Internet Protocol address. It’s like the telephone book of the Internet.
The problem is that your PC is usually configured to use your ISP’s DNS, which means your ISP sees all your browser requests. VPNs typically configure your PC to use their DNS, and there is usually a DNS leak protection feature that makes sure your PC doesn’t ignore the VPN and use your default DNS settings.
Nevertheless, to be doubly sure you’re not using your ISP’s DNS, it’s a good idea to set your PC to use a third-party DNS provider such as OpenDNS. We have a tutorial from 2011 on how to change your DNS settings in Windows 7. It works pretty much the same way in Windows 10.
Now you’re off to a good start for protecting your data from a snooping ISP. It’s not fool-proof, but you’ve taken a number of important steps. Once you’re set up, consult IPLeak.net and DNS Leak Test (use the extended test for the latter) to make sure you’re not revealing any data that you don’t want to reveal. We would like to thank pcworld.com for the content and tips via their website, they have some great tips beyond what we've shared today so feel free to check them out.
Is Cyber Liability Insurance an option for you?
In our previous article, Cyber Liability for your Ohio Business, we discussed cyber liability insurance and how it can help you if you own a business. Below is a quite snippet from that post that covers the areas where it may be able to help you. We had the experts at Grange Insurance (one of our trusted carriers) help weigh in on this topic cyber liability insurance.
“Data Breach: A data breach is a security failure where sensitive, protected or confidential data is copied, transmitted, viewed, stolen or used by someone who is not authorized to do so.
It can be as high-tech as a hacker cracking a complex encrypted system or as simple as an employee losing a smartphone. And it happens more often than you can imagine. More than 1 billion personal information records were stolen in 2014 alone.
Losing your customers’ data can quickly become expensive. In 2015, the average cost paid for each lost or stolen record containing confidential information was $154, and there can be severe penalties for losing credit card data, along with the costs of forensic investigations, credit card reissuance and fraud. But maybe the biggest cost is the loss of your customers’ trust if you aren’t covered by insurance or prepared to remedy the situation.
Third Party Data: Whether it’s your company handling someone else’s data or a vendor that handles your sensitive information, you must make sure you’re protected.
Even if you’ve entrusted someone else or another company to keep your data safe, cyber coverage can cover you if that information is ever lost or stolen.
Extortion & Ransomware: Hackers who target small businesses will sometimes install malware on your system or devices, then demand payment to remove it. With cyber coverage, your business can be protected against this kind of threat.
Cyber coverage is rapidly evolving and determining your risk and needs is essential. The best way to find what fits your business is to speak with an independent agent. Your agent will review your business exposure, different coverage options and make the best policy recommendation for you.”
If you think that cyber liability insurance is an option for you, be sure to reach out to us, so that we can discuss your unique situation and give you a recommendation that fits YOUR unique needs.
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