An experienced high-level executive shared his concern about how attackers invest more time targeting high-net-worth individuals. If you fall into that category, especially now, you must be extra vigilant to protect yourself, your family, and your organization.
The exploits may come in the form of attempts to get you to transfer money to a friend, someone threatening to send out defamatory information about you unless you pay them not to, or phony messages attempting to acquire some personally identifiable information from you.
Be sure to alert your family members that it could be a forgery, even if an email message appears to be from you. Family members should verbally speak to you if there is ever a concern about any communications that are purportedly from you. No one should ever respond to a suspicious email or text message.
Know that legitimate text messages claiming to be from organizations are usually from a five to six-digit source such as 26096. If the text message is from a phone number they don’t recognize, even if the digits are all run together, like 4105550009, there is a good chance the text is fraudulent.
Additionally, there are crucial steps you must take to help protect your devices, including iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tablets, laptops, desktop computers, and all of your devices. Keep the devices locked up when they are not in your possession. If someone gains physical access to your device, it is possible that they can steal information, both your history and real-time now and into the future.
Be sure to apply critical security updates to the operating systems and browsers when prompted. But watch out for fake requests. Update alerts should never come via email or text message; those are bogus and dangerous.
Avoid connecting to public WiFi networks in coffee shops, airports, and hotels. Using your phone as a hotspot is much safer. A VPN protects your privacy but doesn’t prevent attackers from targeting your device on the network.
Avoid using a family computer to do your online banking, connect to your office, or type sensitive information. Attackers seek to infect work-from-home computers, and family computers are often the most vulnerable. Use your laptop or computer dedicated to you so that another family member doesn’t accidentally install malware for attackers to monitor your keystrokes, take control, or dwell inside, waiting for you to log in to your office.
There are so many steps to take, and, primarily, you must have a heightened awareness that you are at an increased risk of attacks as a high net-worth individual. Consider having a cybersecurity advisor to guide you and your team as you increase your security. Be sure they hold top-level cybersecurity certifications, including CISSP, CEH, and CISA, to help you receive the best guidance.
Please forward this to your friends so that they are extra vigilant too.