Cyber Security Means Not Clicking On That Link


COVID changed the way we used the internet. Whether for streaming TV, buying groceries, or video-calling, many people created new online digital accounts during the pandemic. As we spend more of our lives online, it’s increasingly important to keep information safe online.

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and experts are urging consumers to protect their accounts. That includes being mindful at work where ransomware attacks on companies often happen when an employee clicks on a link that they shouldn’t have.

To find out what we all need to know, Eric Douglas spoke with Bill Gardner, a white-hat hacker and a cybersecurity professor at Marshall University. He says there is a tremendous demand for people trained in the field.

Douglas: October is Cyber Security month. Where did that come from?

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Cybersecurity professor and white-hat hacker, Bill Gardner.

Gardner: That was originally floated by the federal government because we need to do better with cybersecurity. Every breach we have is the worst one in history. Right? There’s things users can do to protect themselves, and that’s the whole thrust behind it.

Douglas: Let’s talk about the ever-escalating breaches for a minute. What’s going on for the average Joe? What should I know about my personal cybersecurity?

Gardner: From the top-down approach, agencies who work on this problem need to share data. And they’re not always doing it. We need to keep an eye on threat intelligence, who the bad actors are, so we can do a better job defending against them. As a person, it’s the same old adage. It really hasn’t changed a lot. Be suspicious of email when you don’t know where it’s coming from. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you get a text message from AT&T, go to the AT&T website or through the AT&T app to see if it’s legitimate or not.

If you’re expecting a package from Amazon, or through FedEx, don’t just click on links that are sent to you saying it’s been delayed. All those things are the things that hook you. We call it phishing. It hooks you into clicking on an attachment or going to a web page that’s compromised. If you look at breaches, probably 97…

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