As technology grows in importance and prevalence in business and in day-to-day activities, so do the risks involved in its use. Cyber attacks are becoming more common, more sophisticated, and more diverse, affecting entire industries and even countries collectively, all the way down to the individual user. Governments and law enforcement officials are now using the power of the Internet to fight its risks, by creating a more powerful security architecture and, most importantly, by keeping end users aware of the threats.
Cyber attacks may range anywhere between annoying—such as email spam or viruses that create repetitive ads—to devastating, such as the attack on Target that resulted in the compromising credit card information of over 40 million shoppers.
While businesses are ramping up security measures to fight organized groups of cyber criminals that conduct corporate attacks, small-time hackers are also targeting individuals. These more personal attacks begin to add up quickly, resulting in billions of potentially malicious attacks per day through email spam alone. These attacks may include seemingly legitimate news headlines that instead include infected links, or they may use other schemes to gain a user’s passwords or personal information. Local police, banks, libraries, schools, and broadband expansion advocate groups like Connected Nation are fighting these attacks through awareness, using their websites, Facebook pages, and seminars to teach users what to look for and how to prevent attacks.
“We, like most communities, are seeing a spike in scams and identity theft,” said Randall Wright, Chief of Police in Fremont, MI. Fremont, like many other communities, is using Facebook to warn residents about threats in the community, both locally and online. “We post stories about the latest scams. We also do public seminars to keep the public informed of the current scams and provide ways to keep their information secure.” The department warned residents via Facebook in April about a tax scam where thieves were attempting to gain social security numbers by posing as the IRS.
The speed with which Facebook and other social media posts can be accessed allows potential victims to see the information immediately without buying a newspaper, going to city hall, or waiting for the story to appear on the evening news. They can also share the information with their friends and neighbors, quickly reducing the pool of unaware victims.
To learn more about cyber security, get in touch with your local police department online and learn more about cyber security programs through your local bank or library. To stay up-to-date with technology developments and broadband expansion in your area, follow stories at http://www.connectmycommunity.org/.
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