Heritage Insurance

Greg shares tips for avoiding cybercrime in this episode of Ask The Expert. 800 CHAB radio presents Ask the Expert with Greg Marcyniuk of Heritage Insurance located in Moose Jaw.

Here's a full transcript of the episode.

Rob Carnie: Cyber crime and hackers and how you can be insured against that. Greg Marcyniuk of Heritage Insurance in downtown Moose Jaw here to tell us all about it.

From big companies to the little guy on his computer in his apartment, there's hackers out there and there's insurance that we can purchase to protect ourselves.

Greg Marcyniuk: That's correct, Rob. And there is certainly coverage there for individuals so that they are covered there both as a business and as an individual. But what I want to talk about is just six cyber security tips. Because, you know, a lot of the bigger companies, they've got all these IT and security levels there so they're getting harder to hack into.

So, where are these trained criminals, organized crime going for? They're going for the easy hits which is small business and personal computers. So, that's the biggest concern right now out there, and we're seeing it happen more and more.

Rob: And right here at home, right?

Greg: Well, that's right. We've had the actual claims that we've had to deal with here in our own office. And it's just because people didn't follow proper protocol. First and foremost is you want to improve your password protection. And when we're saying "Improve your password protection," make sure it's longer, you've got upper case, lower case, different symbols in there. And don't use the same password for every website that you're going in.

I don't save any of my banking information, and again, I recommend that nobody else does. I know it's inconvenient to pull your card out but it's just that much easier for hackers to get in. And change it on a regular basis. So, using multiple passwords and changing it on a regular basis, that's first and foremost.

As far as within business, limit access to people within your office as to what they can access. I, here at Heritage Insurance, only have two people that can access our main information. because very important there. The other thing that you want to do — and again, this is more geared towards businesses — is monitor personal devices and whether or not they have access into your computer systems when they're away from home.

I know it's a little bit of a hassle, but again, that's one big part where people do go through. The other thing is training yourself and your employees as to what can and cannot be opened. When there's attachments coming in, you have to be very cautious, especially when it's coming and you think it's from somebody but you're not really sure, I wouldn't open it.

I would just send a quick email and ask that person "Have you sent this to me?" If there's no signature page, if there's none of the indicators that, you know, just is from them, I would be very cautious on that. So, knowing what to and what not to open — especially when there's attachments. Also, have your junk mail set up at a high level so any of that type of information or emails that are coming in go to them as well.

Be prepared in the event of an attack. I would certainly have a plan in place that you have an IT person that you can go and contact. And, as well, if you do have insurance in place, that's a big part of the insurance program. With this on what they call cyber insurance is that you can actually have a team come in, they'll look at your hard drive, see what's been done. As well as they will negotiate with these people if it does come up where there's ransomware that they want to release the information.

So, another big part. And also try and hack yourself. Send some attachments to your staff and see whether or not they actually will. And there is a great quiz on Google. If you want to find out more about that, contact us and we'll give you the link to go through and do the quiz. And it actually gives you emails and you can test your employees.

It's just a great tool to help for your employees. And not only your employees but yourself.

Rob: Education and prevention. Greg Marcyniuk helping us out today. And you can avoid cyber attacks if you educate yourself and prevent them. And you've got these tips online.

Greg: That's correct, heritageinsurance.ca or come on down and talk to any of our staff here at the corner of First and Fairford Street.

(Video transcription by Speechpad)

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