In this day and age, every prepper needs to abide by this cyber attack checklist if they expect to protect their laptop, home computer, and cell phone safe from threat.
If you’ve seen the movie Live Free or Die Hard, you know it involves cyber criminals trying to wreak havoc on America’s transportation, financial, and power infrastructure. When the movie came out, the plot was a little hard to believe. However, in this day and age the chances of that happening seem much, much higher.
Cyber attacks are, unfortunately, becoming much more of a norm. Just look at companies like Target and Equifax, whose valuable information became stolen practically overnight. This was a massive breach that puts millions of Americans’ personal information in danger.
However, the scary thing is cyber attacks can do more than just steal your social security and credit card numbers. Power plants, stoplights, airplanes, and many more modern devices are all connected to and controlled by the Internet. If the Internet goes down life as you know it will come to a sudden stop.
That’s why you need to not only protect your financial info, but also to prepare your home and office in the event of a major emergency like this. After all, if things come crashing down, you’ll still need to be able to eat, drink, and have your preps in order.
Now keep in mind that cyber attacks aren’t always this extreme. Many times, the attacks are much more localized and are smaller in scale. Regardless, you need to know the steps necessary to protect your technological devices from these threats.
I want to do my part to help protect you in the event of a major (or minor) cyber attack. That’s why I’m preparing you with this…
Free Cyber Attack Checklist
Protecting Your Finances
I know it’s 2017 and cash is basically nonexistent – however, it’s necessary to use if you want to protect your information and your finances. Using cash prevents cyber attack breaches, and it prevents someone from being able to trace your expenses back to you. Not to mention, on a personal note, carrying cash (and only spending the cash you have) automatically helps prevent you from overspending – and that’s a habit we can all stand to get into.
Don’t Give Your Social Or Phone Number
Many places you visit – like doctors’ offices, for example – will ask for your social security number. However, these places often don’t need the number to get the information they need. For instance, most health plans have group number and policy numbers that can lead the staff to your information. Next time you visit the doctor, politely decline when they ask for your social, and press them to use the numbers on your insurance card.
Meanwhile, if you’ve been in a clothing store lately it seems as though every cashier asks for your phone number and/or email address to “add you to their system.” Politely decline.
Use An RFID Blocker
Computer hackers are getting crafty; they can now digitally pickpocket you and steal your credit card information and driver’s license number using their RFID readers. And, scarily enough, they can do this without getting into your purse or wallet – they could just be standing right next to you, stealing your personal info without you knowing. Protect your cards by putting each of them in an RFID blocking shield.
When In Doubt, Don’t Click
Email scammers are on the prowl hoping you’ll click on their bad links. If an unknown person emails you, or if your gut tells you it’s suspicious, don’t click it. If you receive an email from someone claiming to be your bank, don’t open it. Instead, call the bank and see what the issue is. Better safe than sorry.
Use Credit When Shopping Online
When buying things off Amazon or other sites, opt for using your credit card over your debit. In case your info is stolen and you have to renounce any fraudulent charges,, credit cards generally offer more protection than debit ones do.
Switch Up Your Passwords
Though it’s tempting to use the same password(s) for everything and to save them all on your computer, don’t do it. This can be a computer hacker’s dream. Instead, change your passwords every few months, and make sure they’re complex – use numbers, symbols, and capitalization to confuse anyone trying to get your info. Also, don’t use consecutive numbers (123) or letters (abc); it’s also a bad idea to make your password “password.”
Stock Up The Cash Fund
It’s always a good idea to store away a stash of money in case of emergencies. However, it’s safer to do so in cash, and to go “old-school” and to place the money in a safe hiding spot. This will ensure you still have the money in case a hacker compromises your bank information.
Checks are also a useful commodity when you want to get around cyber attacks. Use either checks or cash to pay for things whenever possible.
Pay Bills The Old-Fashioned Way
Seems every company is moving to a “paperless” system, and is encouraging (or forcing) everyone to pay their bills electronically. However, if they’ll allow you to write a check, this may be your best bet at keeping cyber hackers away.
If you must pay your bills online, go in a couple days later and make sure the payments went through. If not, double-checking will help you catch the error faster. In any case, set aside cash or check just in case this happens so you can get the money out immediately.
Preparing Your Office
Know How To Get Out
In case the power goes out, you’ll need to know how to get out of your building. When in doubt, use the stairs – elevators may not be working, may be moving slowly, and will definitely be subject to crowds.
Know Your Alternate Routes
In the case of a major cyber attack, the traffic will be horrendous and it’s likely accidents will be happening left and right. Have a few alternate routes in mind to help avoid these as much as possible.
Backup Your Projects
There are few things more frustrating than giving your all on a work project, and then losing everything to a computer failure. Back up your projects and documents to an external drive frequently to help avoid this.
Get An Office Emergency Kit (And Know Where It Is)
Every office needs an emergency kit in case of…well…you know. The kit must include non-perishable foods, water, first-aid kit, and cash.
Talk To Your IT Department
Every company has (or needs to have) certain protocols when it comes to internet security and confidentiality. Know these protocols to stay on the safe side – and to ensure you don’t accidentally contribute to the breach.
Prepare Your Home
Store Food And Water
It’s important to have non-perishable food and emergency water at home at all times. This way, in case you lose everything in a financial crisis, you and your family will still have food and water to survive.
Get Ready For A Power Outage
Prepare your home with flashlights, extra batteries, candles, blankets, and other necessities to outlast a power outage. You’ll also need a backup power source (like a generator), and some solar chargers.
Backup Your Personal Documents
Have favorite family photos? Have important and/or confidential documents on your computer? Store these on an external drive so that you can access them if the internet and/or power goes down.
Have A Hard Copy Cell Phone List
Technology is a wonderful thing, since it allows you to access phone contacts, set numbers on speed dial, and call anyone at the touch of a button. The bad part is that this allows us to forget our loved ones’ phone numbers – crucial information to have in an emergency. Make a hard copy of the important phone numbers you’ll need in an emergency in case you can no longer access them on your computer.
Know The Ways To Get In Your Apartment
If you live in an apartment and your electronic garage door opener/gate opener goes down, you’ll need to have a plan of how to get into your unit.
Be Aware Of The Dark Side Of Technology
Most computers these days have little cameras that are useful for video chatting with friends and family. However, a computer hacker can easily watch YOU through this camera as well. My advice? Stick a piece of colored tape over the camera until you need to use it.
Computers and televisions also collect data about you through the shows you watch, the sites you visit and the products you buy online. Be aware that someone may use these to gain knowledge about you without your knowledge and/or consent.
Have A Backup Communication Plan
If you can’t use your cell phone, you’ll need another way to get in touch with friends and family. Consider walkie talkies and HAM radios to help keep the lines of communication open. Radios also offer news and weather reports, which can be crucial if you’re stuck at home (or out) and waiting for the disaster to be over.
The truth is we can never know when a cyber attack (or any other emergency) will occur. Prepare Now and Survive Later with this free cyber attack checklist!