from the GDC Cybersecurity Team
Keeping you safer as you work online

And what's a "VPN"?

How about a "keylogger?"

You're about to become an expert!

Huge cyber hack disclosed: One of the largest cyber-breaches in years has exposed customers' personal information from, Expedia,, Sabre, and other travel-related websites. Lifehacker advises anyone who booked travel online as far back as 2013 to change passwords used on the sites and watch credit card statements for unauthorized charges.

Remember this when you buy a movie or TV show from Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, or other streaming services. Technically, you don't own the videos, even though you paid for them. You’re “licensing the content for an indefinite period of time.” Amazon is arguing in court that if the content you bought is later removed from the service, it may also disappear from your library.

Check your computer and smartphone: Do you see a small lock icon next to your home WiFi network’s name? If not, do a web search to learn how to password-protect the brand of router your home network uses. WiFi networks without password protection expose users to the theft of personal information and installation of malware on their computers. The number of unprotected home WiFi networks has risen 240% since the pandemic began. 

Other cyber breaches announced this month: 32 million user names and birthdays have been stolen from Animal Jam, the popular online kids game. ... Driver's license numbers, social security numbers, and vehicle information on 25 million Texans have been stolen. Hackers accessed a tech company that supplies drivers' information to insurance companies. ... User names, phone numbers, and email addresses for eight million users of the stock photography website 123RF have been stolen. … In other Cyber Bytes headlines, Facebook has lost two million users over the past three months. Nevertheless, CNBC says the company’s ad revenue has grown 22% this year. … Carnegie Mellon researchers now say the ideal password is at least 12 characters long.

Here's a phishing email making the rounds, warning recipients that their Xfinity accounts will be disabled if they don't "update their data." It's fake. Use the slider bar below to see the original email and clues that it's actually from scammers.

The Information Technology team at GDC is committed to keeping you safe online, at work and at home.

The GDC Aware Force newsletter 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

Timothy C. Ward
Georgia Department of Corrections

Dan Brown
CIO, Director of Information Technology
Georgia Department of Corrections

Aware Force Cybersecurity News • September 2020 a • Edition #108

Original content © 2020 Aware Force LLC

Aware Force is a registered trademark