Nearly a million records will be stolen by cyber crooks every day. Hundreds of millions of fake emails will be sent to unsuspecting users and almost one in three will be opened. The cost of cybercrime this year: about $5 trillion dollars. But it's easy to avoid most of the risk by following a few steps! 

Listen to the podcast below by clicking on the arrow button, and then read some of the smart advice from cybersecurity professionals.

LISTEN TO YOUR INSTINCT.

 

You know more than you realize about avoiding cybercrime.​ Be skeptical and challenge anything that does not feel right, even if it seems a little off.

 

Craig Youngberg, Chicago Public Schools

FOLLOW THE BASIC RULES.

 

In this complex technology-driven day and age, staying safe online is still a matter of doing the basics early and often. Keep your software up-to-date and enable two-factor authentication wherever possible. You can never be too cautious with your information.

 

Chris Lugo, Danaher

PROTECT YOUR PASSWORDS.

 

Passwords are like underwear. Don't let people see it. Change it often. And never share it with strangers.

 

Chris Pirillo, TechTV

INSTALL ONLY APPS YOU NEED

 

All of the top 10 most popular flashlight apps required user permission to access sensitive data and could actually control and change phone settings. We recently reported that many free flashlight apps that are so popular may be spying on users and stealing their data."

 

— James Geddes, Tech Times

PAY YOUR BILLS ELECTRONICALLY

identity thieves can reach into your mailbox and grab whatever's there. Subvert them by doing as much banking and bill paying online as possible. Doing this makes you less vulnerable, not more.

 

 — Jean Chatzky, AARP The Magazine 

LOCK YOUR SCREEN.

Lock your PC if strangers are nearby and you step away for a few minutes. Just press Windows key+L to lock your PC. Alternatively, you can set your screensaver (via the Screensaver tab in Display Settings under Control Panel) to require a password if it's deactivated by checking the box in 'Settings' that says 'On resume, password protect.'".

 

Editors, ComputerShopper.com

FOLLOW A SIMPLE RULE FOR SAFE PASSWORDS.

 

Use phrases rather than random characters. So, for example, 'Steelers?Win!Cowboys?Lose!' or 'Volt!Amp!Tesla!Edison?' won't be cracked by any common password cracker program but you'll be able to recall such phrases much more easily than say 'ufc#1310.' Safe passwords don't have to be memory twisters. They just have to be hard for computers to work out, and phrases make great passwords.

— Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, ZDNet 

SAFETY STARTS WITH EMAIL 

I take the requisite 5-7 seconds to assess each email I receive to be sure it is legitimate and report the fraudulent ones.

 

Greg Jones, Realogy

COLLECTION AGENCY HACKED: Nearly 20 million consumers are at risk because a company that collects past due medical debts was hacked. Over the course of eight months, scammers were able to download billpayers’ personal information including names, addresses, birthdays and how much money is owed to two giant medical testing companies, LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics.

 

Bloomberg News says the collections firm that got hacked, American Medical Collection Agency, has filed bankruptcy and will go out of business.

 

The National Consumer Law Center says consumers with past due bills for medical testing should monitor bills from collection agencies and their credit card statements in coming months to make sure the charges are legit.

Can you spot why the five texts and emails in this cyber quiz are fake?

The Information Technology team at GDC is committed to keeping you safe online, at work and at home. GDC Aware Force is a resource to keep you informed and alert you of some of the most recent cybersecurity threats. Our goal is to enhance security awareness and reduce the threat risk and loss of data, keeping you, your colleagues and Georgia residents safer.

If you have a question about cybersecurity or would like to alert us to suspicious activity online or at the office, please email the GDC Office of Information Technology team anytime, at GDC_InfoSec@gdc.ga.gov

Timothy C. Ward

Commissioner

Georgia Department of Corrections

Dan Brown

CIO, Director of

Information Technology

Georgia Department of Corrections

Ernest Bedsaul

Information Security Officer

Georgia Department of Corrections

In the upcoming edition of Cybersecurity News
from the GDC Cybersecurity Team:
The latest advice about traveling cyber safely

July 2019 a • Edition #72

Cybercartoon © Tom Fishburne

Original content © 2019 Aware Force LLC

Aware Force is a registered trademark