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

Cybercrooks like it when you use short, simple passwords

and when you use the same passwords on different websites.

Here's how fast their computers can crack a password.

Here's how to keep your online accounts safer.


  1. Use a different password for every online account. 

  2. Avoid using patterns ("12345") or personal information (like your pet's name).

  3. Create long password phrases instead of a single word or string of random characters.

  4. Include a special character (*&^%$#@) or two. 

  5. ...and put those special characters somewhere other than the beginning or end of the password.

  6. Consider using password management software like Dashlane, LastPass, RoboForm, or 1Password.

Click on the thumbnail image to

download and print this document.

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Apple’s new iOS 14 iPhone operating system, which is now available, doesn't include a controversial security feature. Apple says it will be next spring before users can choose whether to share their personal information with third-party apps like Facebook. Currently, a user’s web browsing and purchase history is shared with apps automatically and is used to display targeted banner ads and other content. Facebook doesn't like Apple's new feature. 

Animation courtesy of ZDNet

The five biggest cyber breaches of 2020 — so far. MGM Resorts (all 142 million affected customers have been notified); Marriott Hotels (5 million customers’ birthdays and phone numbers were stolen); Zoom (500,000 usernames and passwords stolen); Magellan Health (personal information including social security numbers for 350,000 employees and patients); and Twitter (350 high-profile accounts including Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Joe Biden and Bill Gates).

Cyber bytes: Inc magazine says one easy way to improve the battery life, memory allocation, and security of your smartphone is to simply power it off and back on once a week. ... Here’s proof that Zoom had a blockbuster summer because of the pandemic. About 140 million people now use it for videoconferencing at work or at home, up 470% from a year ago. … According to the Wall Street Journal, more online scammers impersonate billionaire Elon Musk than anyone else, because of his “unpredictable” reputation as a technology entrepreneur.

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No matter how anonymous you think you are,

   no matter how much money you have,

      cyber crooks want access to your computer and smartphone.


Who are the four biggest cybercrooks in history and what lessons do they have for us?


Take the Amboy Bank cyber quiz and find out!

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 b • Edition #104

Password security stats sourced from

Cybersecurity Cartoon ©

iOS 14 is a registered trademark.

Original content © 2020 Aware Force LLC

Aware Force is a registered trademark