Protect your home and your family with these home safety tips.
"Fear is the father of courage and the mother of safety."
Henry H. Tweedy
Storm Protection
Storm Protection
How To Prevent A False Alarm
How To Prevent A False Alarm
Moving in: Security Checklist
Moving in: Security Checklist
Spot Deceptive Sales Scams
Spot Deceptive Sales Scams
Start a Neighborhood Watch Checklist
Start a Neighborhood Watch Checklist
Motion Sensor Tips and Tricks
Motion Sensor Tips and Tricks
Fire Safety Plan Checklist
Fire Safety Plan Checklist
5 Tips to Keep Your Child Safe at Home
5 Tips to Keep Your Child Safe at Home
Tips to Prevent a Home Break-In
Tips to Prevent a Home Break-In
Pet Safety Tips
Pet Safety Tips
Home Office Safety
Home Office Safety
Apartment and Condominium Safety
Apartment and Condominium Safety
Kitchen Safety Tips for the Holiday Season
Kitchen Safety Tips for the Holiday Season
Halloween Safety Tips for the Whole Family
Halloween Safety Tips for the Whole Family
Safety Solutions for Rural Properties
Safety Solutions for Rural Properties
Hurricane Safety
Hurricane Safety
Home Security Tips
Home Security Tips
Fire Safety Tips
Fire Safety Tips
Holiday Safety Tips
Holiday Safety Tips
Tips for a Safe Home during the Holidays
Tips for a Safe Home during the Holidays
Baby Safety Tips
Baby Safety Tips
Back To School Safety
Back To School Safety
Bicycle Safety Tips
Bicycle Safety Tips
How To Choose a Home Alarm System
How To Choose a Home Alarm System
College Safety Tips
College Safety Tips
College Social Life Safety
College Social Life Safety
Financial Safety Tips
Financial Safety Tips
Fire Safety For Kids
Fire Safety For Kids
Financial Scam Safety
Financial Scam Safety
Home Office Safety Tips
Home Office Safety Tips
Home Security Glossary
Home Security Glossary
Medicine Cabinet Safety
Medicine Cabinet Safety
School Lockdown Procedures
School Lockdown Procedures
Social Media Safety Tips
Social Media Safety Tips
Spring Break Safety Tips
Spring Break Safety Tips
Study Abroad Safety Tips
Study Abroad Safety Tips
Thanksgiving Safety Tips
Thanksgiving Safety Tips
Top Ten Guard Dogs
Top Ten Guard Dogs
4th of July Safety Tips
4th of July Safety Tips
Dating Safety Tips
Dating Safety Tips

Use these tips along with your home security system to help protect your home and your loved ones:

Create the illusion that someone is at your house. ...
Make sure all exterior doors have reliable locks. ...
Always look before opening the door. ...
Don't leave spare keys in obvious locations. ...
Secure your sliding glass doors. ...

Reducing Risk Inside and Around the Home

Reducing Risk Inside and Around the Home
In the kitchen
  • Keep a distance between flammable objects (papers, curtains, plastics, etc.) and fire sources (oven, stove top, portable heater, etc.)
  • Use harmful products (cleaning solutions, lighters) with caution (follow nstructions!) and keep them out of reach of children and pets.
  • Never leave sharp objects (knives) or other such tools and utensils misplaced or unattended.
  • Ensure electrical cords aren’t draped across other appliances or the counter or stove top.
  • Leave space around appliances for proper ventilation.
Reducing Risk Inside and Around the Home
In the bathroom
  • Keep electrical appliances wrapped and away from water.
  • Use non-slip strips or floor mats
  • Always keep the room clean and as dry as possible.
Reducing Risk Inside and Around the Home
In the bedroom
  • Never smoke.
  • As always, ensure that everything else is a safe distance away from a source of fire or heat.
  • Opt for mattresses with open flame-resistant protection.
  • You’re most vulnerable when you sleep. Even in bed, keep a phone, light, (and, if necessary, a weapon) within reach.
Reducing Risk Inside and Around the Home
In the garage
  • This is probably where you store most of your tools and equipment. Take precautions with flammable liquids, chemicals, and anything producing fumes.
  • Keep poisonous substances (paint thinner, antifreeze, rat poison, etc.) locked up and out of reach of children and pets.
  • Keep your space clean and organized, especially as many of your tools are sharp, heavy or otherwise dangerous.
Reducing Risk Inside and Around the Home
In the yard
  • Surround your property with a sturdy fence (this is more for keeping in children and pets, but can also serve to remind strangers to keep out).
  • If you’ve got a pool, keep it locked down or fenced in when not in use.
  • Be careful when working in bad weather. Use sand, salt, and good-traction footwear on ice and snow.
Reducing Risk Inside and Around the Home
On the stairs
  • Keep steps clean and dry.
  • Always install stable and sturdy railing on both sides of the stairs.
  • Ensure that the distance between the rails is narrow enough to prevent a child or infant from falling through.
  • Good rule of thumb: less than four inches!
  • Keep stairs well lit.
Reducing Risk Inside and Around the Home
Guard against fire
  • Install smoke detectors, check them regularly, and replace the batteries at least once a year.
  • Avoid overloading outlets and extension cords.
  • Keep fire extinguishers handy and know how to use them.
  • Establish a safety exit, ensure all family members know and understand it, practice with drills, and ensure it’s never blocked.
  • Never block or pile things on heaters or near heat-exuding appliances; give these a wide berth, plenty of breathing room, and make sure they don’t get overheated.
  • Ensure that all materials are fire-resistant if you’re renovating or just fixing up something around the house.
  • Never leave any type of fire or hot appliance unattended.
  • Remove dry vegetation around your home, especially during the dry seasons.
  • Cover the fireplace with a stable and large metal fire frame.

What is Ransomware?

What is Ransomware and why should your business buy insurance for it?  Ransomware is a type of computer virus that may go unnoticed by the user, where a hacker can take control of your computer or data and demand payment to give it back.  T...

What is Ransomware and why should your business buy insurance for it?  Ransomware is a type of computer virus that may go unnoticed by the user, where a hacker can take control of your computer or data and demand payment to give it back.  T...

What is Ransomware and why should your business buy insurance for it?  Ransomware is a type of computer virus that may go unnoticed by the user, where a hacker can take control of your computer or data and demand payment to give it back.  The type of risk has become more prevalent in recent months and can affect individual computers up to large networks with many users.  See the information below from Columbia Insurance Group on prevention tips for this data risk.

How Ransomware Works
Unlike other types of viruses that may go undetected by the user, ransomware is readily apparent. Once affected, a computer becomes inoperable or data inaccessible. The virus may either disable the computer or encrypt the hard drive, specific data or the drive and backup systems. A warning appears on the screen stating that in exchange for a payment, usually in digital currency such as Bitcoin, the computer or data will be released. The “ransom” usually ranges from $150 to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending upon the type of virus, the target affected and likelihood of payment.

Cyber Attackers’ Scare Tactics
Often, the message accuses the user of downloading illegal or embarrassing content that frightens them to comply with the hackers’ demands without notifying law enforcement. For instance, a common ransomware message appears to come from the FBI and claims that the user is under investigation for downloading child pornography or copyrighted content, such as movies or video games. Here is one example of what a ransomware message might look like. This following message is from Cryptolocker, one of the oldest and most common ransomware viruses. options after an attack. Most often, if the computer is infected, the only remediation options are to either pay the ransom or replace the hardware, software and data. Many victims choose to pay the ransom, as it is usually the less expensive option. In some cases, self-help is possible. Googling the variant of the virus may yield a quick fix. For instance, older versions of ransomware used weaker encryption or contained backdoors that permitted the victim to get around it and restore their system.

Prevention Is The Best Cure
When it comes to defeating ransomware, the most important steps are the ones you take to stop an attack before it ever happens. As with most viruses, ransomware is frequently transmitted by email – users are directed to download a document or to a link that downloads the malicious code. Although we have been trained countless times to avoid downloading files from unfamiliar or suspicious sources, this activity is the leading cause of ransomware infection.

So, how can ransomware infection be prevented?

  • Prioritize cyber hygiene. Make sure that virus protection, firewalls, operating system and software updates are current. Stop clicking, “remind me later,” and take time to install updates.
  • Backing up is still critical. Back up important data, and the more redundant your backups — within reason — the better. For a single computer, backing up to a cloud service and a detachable external hard drive or large capacity flash drive is a simple solution. Maintain at least one good copy of your back up data before overwriting it with a newer version. Of course, the more recent a backup is, the less extensive a data loss can be. For larger networks, the same principles apply—use more than one backup method, ensure that at least one of them is stored offline and make sure there’s always at least one good copy of your data. This will minimize the possibility of ransomware contaminating backups in addition to the core system.

Be vigilant with your system
Another aspect of cyber hygiene is vigilance. The best and newest security cannot protect us if we engage in unsafe online behavior. Even though we have been trained and often read about online security, reports estimate that users are responsible for anywhere from 17-37% of information technology security incidents. You can practice cyber vigilance by:

  • Being smart about email. Don’t click on links before you copy and google them. Most of the time, if the link is known to spread malware, you will receive a wealth of responses documenting the dangers of clicking on the link.
  • Double-checking email addresses. If you receive an email from someone you normally converse with, take a look at the extension on the email and the address itself. Many times, hackers change one letter or substitute a number for a letter in an email address in an effort to exploit our tendency to trust the source and gloss over details.
  • Don’t download documents, especially word documents or PDFs, that may be suspect. If you’re not expecting a document, don’t download it without investigating it first. For example, if you receive an email that says your item has shipped, but you didn’t order anything recently, don’t click on the link or download the attachment. If you receive an attachment from someone and the email doesn’t contain other text, that is suspicious. If you receive a document, PDF or file from someone you don’t normally receive material from, investigate before downloading or opening the file.

 For more information on purchasing a Cyber Liability/Data Breach Policy that is designed to protect your business should you have a loss, please contact us at 618-542-4831. 

 


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