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People Have a False Sense of Cybersecurity: Study

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People just aren’t ready to face cyberattacks on their own — but they’d do well to heed Shakespeare’s words: “He who steals my purse steals trash;… but he that filches from me my good name….”

According to the 2018 Chubb Cyber Risk Survey, individuals aren’t ready to cope with attacks on their own or their families’ data. And a whopping 86% are clueless not only about what to do, but about how vulnerable their data is, in case of cyber threats.

(Related: The Ear of the Beholder: Words Clients Hate, Words Clients Like)

The drained bank account actually isn’t the biggest risk people face, although that’s what 80% of respondents are most worried about. After all, the bank will pay you back. Bigger threats that insinuate themselves further into people’s lives are those facing family members’ Social Security numbers (60%), medical records (30%), email addresses (18%) and public WiFi exposures (12%).

Stolen Social Security numbers can cause untold damage, but so can compromised medical records, which could actually kill you — think unrecorded allergies, exhausted insurance limits for care you never received, or the wrong blood type in your file.

People might think they’re safe as long as they have a password (that they probably can’t remember themselves), but the report points out that only 40% reported using cybersecurity software and just 30% regularly change online passwords and use multifactor authentication to log into their accounts. Besides, that memory problem people have with passwords means that 67% said they “always” or “often” use the same password for multiple sites.

All the details people post on Facebook do everything but issue an invitation to thieves who see valuables in the background of the shot showing their departure to a weeks-long vacation. And that doesn’t even begin to address the problems caused by ransomware and malware.

The same, of course, is true at work. People need to be educated and have it impressed on them how serious cybersecurity is, and, says the report, employers should lead by example. Both bosses and employees, however, think they’re doing better at it than they actually are; not only do Chubb’s claims data show a 930% increase in the number of business-related cyber insurance claims over the past 10 years, but bosses (75%) and employees (93%) say they have good security measures or understand the company’s security practices. But only 33% of employees say the boss holds annual companywide trainings or refresher courses.

And since humans are proving so fallible at protecting their data, says the insurer, a backup plan is necessary. Says the report, “The best backup plan is cyber insurance — with the best policies providing a mix of defensive protective measures along with fast response capabilities in a worst-case scenario.”

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