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Cybersecurity a Top Risk Facing Affluent Families

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High net worth families have become prime targets for a variety of threats and scams from cyber-intruders.

Today’s threats are growing more harmful, particularly to affluent families.

“High net worth individuals tend to have a large amount of very sensitive and confidential information. Because their reputations are significant, even stuff that has no economic value can cause significant harm,” Mark Rasch, a cybersecurity attorney, told Worth magazine.

Threats range from identity fraud to doxxing, the release of personal information about victims, to ransomware, software that takes over a computer system until a ransom gets paid.

There are several strategies you can use to reduce these cyber risks significantly. 

All family members must be diligent about their phones’ and laptops’ connectivity and exposure. Use caution on public, open wi-fi networks. If you frequent places with open wi-fi, consider using VPN software. 

Keep devices updated with current software to help protect against viruses and malware, including ransomware.

Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication when it’s an option. Monitor your financial accounts, including any credit cards, closely.

Watch the information your family is sharing on social networks and who can see it. For instance, a hacker can often find valuable information they need to breach accounts with a little social media research.

Rasch, who handled computer hacking cases for the Department of Justice in the 1980s, advises his clients to purchase cyberthreat insurance.

He also advises having the ability to buy cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin, to pay a ransom. 

If a client becomes the victim of a cybercrime, Rasch recommends enlisting a team of experts. 

“Have a rapid response program that includes legal, forensics, technology, investigations, crisis management and public relations,” Rasch told Worth. “The law very rarely works to prevent or punish these things. Identification, prevention and a quick response are what’s important.”

Read about six more threats facing high net worth families at Worth and how to reduce potential dangers.