Don’t Catastrophize!

Don't catastrophize!

The rise of cybercrime—and the realization that bad actors increasingly target small businesses—can lead freelancers and solopreneurs to feel overwhelmed and vulnerable. Some bury their head in the sand and try to ignore the threat, while others let anxiety take over. They consider worst-case scenarios to be probable instead of possible, which can be the tipping point for anxiety morphing into the negative cycle of catastrophizing.

While it’s important to consider your cyber vulnerabilities and address them, it’s counterproductive to lose perspective and catastrophize. What should you do if you find yourself catastrophizing about cybersecurity?

      1. Recognize that the anxiety exists, and it is energy. You can direct this energy toward thinking about the worst possibility, or you can apply it toward prevention of the probable.
      2. Determine probable threats and address them. Phishing, attacks on your website, credential stuffing, and identity theft are all common afflictions. Before you start dealing with more exotic issues (like SIM swapping), focus that energy on the more mundane probabilities. Secure your email and your website, find out which accounts have been breached and secure them, close old “zombie” accounts, update your passwords, and enable 2FA.
      3. Compartmentalize. Address your cybersecurity thoroughly and well, but keep it in its place. Remember, all of these devices are tools designed to make life easier, not harder.
      4. Stay current. Knowledge is, after all, power. Often what we don’t know or understand instills a sense of fear and anxiety, so stay up to date on cybersecurity topics that affect you and your business.

Here at DCC Cyber, we focus on cyber threats relevant to freelancers, consultants, and other solo practitioners and small businesses. Follow us on Twitter to stay current and peruse the blog for information about salient cyber issues.

To learn more about cybersecurity for individuals and small businesses, check out the Freelancer’s Guide to Cybersecurity and its list of resources.

[Want to learn more about the psychology of catastrophizing and how to stop? Read this.]

Photo credit: Photo by Tim Gouw from Pexels