Phishing and Cyber Attacks Spike Up While Working From Home

We have been seeing an increasing number of claims involving cyber attacks, viruses, malware, phishing and other situations where electronic systems are being compromised both by directed effort and innocent mistake. These incidents can cause loss or damage to electronic data, forensic expenses, loss of income, network security and privacy lawsuits, extortion losses, notification costs, and damage to your business’ reputation.  

Stay vigilant to protect yourself and your business from becoming a victim of a cyberattack. Most companies don’t believe someone would target them with a phishing attack. However, we’ve seen large and small businesses targeted, as well as increases in ransomware claims submitted under our Cyber coverage.
Most standard commercial insurance policies provide only limited (if any) coverage for these types of claims, and something as simple the use of email in your business can expose you to the risk of a breach or cyber event.   

We strongly recommend that each of our commercial customers take advantage of our free cyber security assessment provided by our partners at Fifthwall. With a small amount of basic information, this free report will provide a snap-shot of what a cyber event could look like for your organization and provide a strong starting point to understand how these risks may threaten your business.   

https://www.fifthwallsolutions.com/assessment/christie-associates

Thanksgiving Fails

TIPS FOR AVOIDING THANKSGIVING DINNER DISASTERS

With more people preparing their own dinners and staying home this year, Forbes Advisor developed 11 tips to have a safe experience.

  1. Keep your cooking area free of flammable materials like food wrappers, towels and oven mitts. If they’re too close to your stove, they could catch fire.
  2. Avoid wearing long sleeves and hanging fabrics that could come in contact with a source of heat.
  3. Don’t leave your kitchen when anything is being cooked on the stovetop.
  4. Stay at home while turkey and other items are being cooked in the oven, and regularly check those items.
  5. Be alert when you’re cooking. If you’re really sleepy or really tipsy, it’s smart not to be whipping up Thanksgiving dinner in the kitchen. “Cooking while overtired or under the influence is dangerous,” the NFPA warns.
  6. Keep children at least 3 feet away from the stove and other areas where hot food or drinks are being prepared or served.
  7. Set timers so you don’t forget to check on food.
  8. Test your smoke alarms to make sure they’re working.
  9. Never throw water on a grease fire that’s occurring in a pan on top of your stove. Instead, turn off the burner and cover the fire with a lid or larger pan to smother it.
  10. If a fire breaks out in your oven, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  11. If you’re not sure whether you can safely fight a kitchen fire that has started, leave your house and call 911.

“The pandemic may limit the number of people in homes this year, but there will still be lots of the usual cooking and distractions that contribute to a sharp increase in cooking fires on and around Thanksgiving. Being vigilant in the kitchen remains critical to ensuring a fire-safe holiday,” said Lorraine Carli, a spokesperson for the NFPA, in a news release.

Pittsburgh Rain

Just one inch of water can cause damage to your home.  That’s why it’s important to insure your home with additional protection designed to cover you against water damages caused by flooding. 

Flood insurance covers the water that comes from a natural source and if two or more properties are involved. If you and your neighbors are all having water issues due to heavy rains and/or rising waters, then you are likely dealing with a flood insurance claim. Reach out to your client advisor if you would like more information regarding Flood Insurance. 

Pittsburgh’s 4th of July 2020

Summer looks a lot different this year. Communities across the Pittsburgh area have cancelled popular events, festivals and Fourth of July fireworks/gatherings because of COVID-19. A lot of people are looking for alternative celebrations right now, and below are some helpful resources.

Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist

Get the most out of your spring cleaning by using our spring cleaning checklist. When you’re cleaning, it’s important to use the proper cleaning solutions. It’s even more important to know that these cleaning solutions consist of chemicals and some combinations can be extremely hazardous to your health. Please do your research before using and combining any cleaning products.

Home

  • Change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Check all electronics, make sure they are plugged in, cords are untangled and everything is plugged into a surge protector
  • Check expiration date on fire extinguishers
  • Change your air filter
  • Unblock all air vents
  • Clean bathroom fans
  • Sweep front porch and back deck
  • Store all winter items, clothes, and decorations
  • Disinfect all computer keyboards and mouse

Every Room

  • Wash Baseboards, door ceilings, window sills, doors, and walls
  • Vacuum and wash vents
  • Wash window treatments (drapes, etc.)
  • Dust blinds
  • Wash Windows – inside and out
  • Dust and shine overhead lights

Kitchen

  • Clean out pantry
  • Wash kitchen cabinets
  • Deep clean oven
  • Move fridge – vacuum and mop behind it
  • Vacuum coils on fridge
  • Deep clean fridge inside – wash outside

Living Room

  • Dust and wash any and all mirrors, frames, and decorative items
  • Vacuum all upholstery
  • Dust furniture and fixtures
  • Wash all throw pillows and blankets
  • Dust and polish furniture
  • Vacuum and shampoo carpets

Bedroom

  • Wash all bedding
  • Wash all bed and throw pillows
  • Flip Mattress – if using pillow top, rotate mattress
  • Purge anything stored you don’t want anymore

Bathroom

  • Clean and disinfect tub and shower
  • Wash bathmats
  • Dust and replace decorative items
  • Wash and/or replace shower liners and shower curtains

Other

  • Update all your house first aid kits and be sure to toss expired medication while sorting other medication
  • Donate clothes items to Goodwill, The Salvation Army, or other local community organizations