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Security & privacy

8 things to do now in case Iran attacks the US

Think about how much of your life is spent online. From the moment you wake in the morning to the time you finally go to sleep, you’re constantly checking emails, messaging friends and family, checking bank accounts and so much more — and all of that can be done with your smartphone.

But your phone is just the beginning. Many of us now have smart appliances and other internet of things (IoT) gadgets that are always connected to the internet. Tap or click here to learn how to protect your IoT devices.

Now imagine if a major cyberattack happened that took out all the technology we depend on. Are you prepared? Unfortunately, for most of us the answer is “no.” With tensions rising between the U.S. and Iran, the threat of a massive cyberattack might soon become a reality.

Tensions between Iran and the U.S. escalate

When you think about military conflict, troops, ships or aircraft tend to come to mind. The thing is, we’re living in a new era of warfare.

Nowadays, one country can attack another without ever firing a shot. We recently told you how the U.S. stepped up cyberattacks against Iran. Tap or click here to learn about U.S. cyberattacks against Iran.

If you’ve been paying attention to the news, you know tensions between the U.S. and Iran have escalated. Now, it’s feared that Iran will attempt major cyberattacks against America — and soon.

These cyberattacks could put your smart devices, bank accounts and other online services in jeopardy. Not only that, but Iran could attack power grids in major U.S. cities, effectively cutting off electricity in our homes and businesses.

Cloud cybersecurity company iboss CEO Paul Martini told USA Today that if Iranian hackers attacked an entire power grid, it would affect all electric systems, such as the internet, and could “shut down communication systems.”

Without shooting a single bullet or missile, you can shut down an entire county or nation.”

Paul Martini

Huge targets within the U.S. include banks, hospitals, energy services and more. This is not a threat to take lightly. We’ve recently seen ransomware attacks on U.S. cities like Baltimore. Tap or click here to find out how Baltimore was attacked by ransomware.

One way to prevent falling victim to attacks like these is to be familiar with phishing schemes. That means you need to be extremely cautious with links sent to you in unsolicited emails and texts. Never click on a link in an unsolicited message, it could be a phishing scam. Here are a few other ways to prepare for cyberattacks.

You may also like: America’s infrastructure is under attack

How to prepare for potential cyberattacks

There are things we could all do to be better prepared in the event of a massive cyberattack. Here are some suggestions:

  • Passwords, for everything from online bank accounts to IoT devices in your home, need to be unique and difficult to crack. Tap or click here to learn how to create stronger passwords.
  • Make sure all of your devices are up to date. If automatic updates are available for your device’s operating systems, hardware or software, enable this feature to help.
  • If you have IoT devices in your home, keep them on a separate network from your computers.
  • Never keep a device’s default password. One critical mistake people make is not changing default passwords on things like their modem or router. This makes it ridiculously easy for a hacker to take control of your network and rip you off. You might need to look at your device’s manual for specific instructions on how to change the default settings. Tap or click here to look up thousands of user manuals online for free.
  • Protect your devices with a strong security suite.
  • Save hard copies of information that you normally have in digital form. Write down important phone numbers and keep them in a secure place so you’re not relying on internet connectivity or gadgets.
  • Have an emergency supply of food and water on hand. It’s a good idea to have bottled water and some non-perishable food available; try to have enough to last at least two weeks.
  • Keep supplies like candles, matches, batteries and flashlights around the house. An emergency power source is also a good idea.

Follow these helpful tips and you’ll be ready if anything bad happens. Also, pay attention to the latest news so you can stay on top of any new threats.

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