Cyber crime on the rise during the pandemic

October is Michigan Cybersecurity Awareness Month
Published: Oct. 6, 2020 at 6:23 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Cyber criminals snatched $36 million from people in Michigan last year and experts only expect that number to go up this year.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer proclaimed October Michigan Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

With more people online due to the pandemic, they want to bring awareness to threats.

Kent Seggebruch, owner of Breadsmith of Okemos, was the target of cyber criminals twice.

“I took the precautions that I think most people take, the basic precautions. But in light of the attack, the cyber attack, I did learn that it’s far easier for the attackers to get into your system than anyone can imagine,” said Seggebruch.

On top of dealing with the woes of the pandemic, Seggebruch is also still dealing with the effects of the cyber attack.

“Frankly, I decided to go back to the old fashion method of doing our production, scheduling every single night the old fashion way with pen and paper. It’s a very arduous, time consuming ordeal, but I am not subject to any more computer viruses,” said Seggebruch.

As more people are working and going to school from home, co-founder of Defeat the Breach Coalition Jeff Dettloff says anticipating threats can be the best line of defense.

“There is certainly a lot more activity now that everyone is working from home,” said Dettloff. Hackers know that when there’s disruption, there’s opportunity."

Dettloff says being prepared ahead of time can save you from scrambling if the unexpected happens.

“Once you’re in a crisis situation, you do not want to be thinking about what’s my next step,” said Dettloff.

He says the biggest thing you can do is set up two-factor authentication and pay attention to every link you click.

“It’s easy to avoid it or say I don’t want that because it’s too hard. But it is the number one way to keep attackers out,” said Dettloff.

Here are additional tips he suggests:

  • Don’t click on anything (links, attachments, images) without checking the source.
  • Don’t reply or engage with a sender you aren’t familiar with.
  • Report suspicious emails to an IT Help Desk.
  • Conduct antivirus scans on all of your devices (phone, personal and work computers).
  • Change your passwords, especially if you reuse passwords between accounts.
  • Connect to public Wi-Fi using a VPN.

For more tips, visit here.

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