Cyberattacks are malicious attempts to access or damage a computer or network system. Cyberattacks can lead to the loss of money or the theft of personal, financial and medical information. These attacks can damage your reputation and safety.

How Cyber Attacks Can Occur

  • Accessing your personal computer, mobile phone, gaming system, and other internet- and Bluetooth-connected devices
  • Installing ransomware and malware on your device
  • Damaging your financial security, including identity theft
  • Blocking your access to or deleting your personal information and accounts or changing your passwords.
  • Complicating your employment or business services
  • Impacting transportation and the power grid

Steps and information from FEMA's site and the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) can help you build your personal plan, protect your business, know what to do during an attack, and recover from an incident quickly.

You can avoid cyber risks by taking steps in advance:

  • Limit the personal information you share online. Change privacy settings, do not use location features, and use two-factor authentication.
  • Keep software applications and operating systems up to date with patches and other updates.
  • Create strong passwords by using upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • Watch for suspicious activity that asks you to do something right away, offers something that sounds too good to be true, or needs your personal information.  Think before you click.  When in doubt DO NOT CLICK.
  • Remember, the government will not call, text, or contact you via social media about owing or refunding money.  
  • Scammers may try to take advantage of financial fears by calling you with work-from-home opportunities, debt consolidation offers, student loan repayment plans, or car warranty information.  Unless you are contacting these service providers yourself, do not click any links or take any calls from them.
  • Be wary of emails from businesses, even if it is a business you use everyday.  Hackers can create authentic looking emails with banners, icons, and links that look to be real.  Hover over (but never click) any link in an email and check the link to make sure it is valid and look at spelling and grammatical contexts. Think before you click.  When in doubt, DO NOT CLICK.
  • Protect your home and business by using a secure Internet connection and Wi-Fi network.  Be sure to change the factory default password as soon as you can and change the passwords on a regular basis.
  • Don't share PINs or passwords, and be sure to not let anyone "shoulder surf" who can see your password.  Use devices that use biometric scans when possible (like a fingerprint scanner or Face ID).
  • Check your account statements and your credit reports regularly.  You can get up to three free credit reports from Annual Credit .  This is a FREE service authorized through the Federal Trade Commission.  
  • Be cautious about sharing your personal financial information such as your bank account number, Social Security number or credit card number.  Only share personal information on secure sites that begin with https:// that you, yourself, have typed in.  Do not use sites with invalid certificates.  Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) instead of free public wi-fi that is open to anyone to see activity on.
  • Use and update antivirus and anti-malware solutions to help block threats.
  • Back up your files regularly in an encrypted file of encrypted file storage device.