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SPC offering security tips as cybercrime escalates worldwide

Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 6:59 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Cybercrime is on the rise around the world. Check Point Software reports the first half of 2021 saw a 102% increase in ransomware attacks, compared to the beginning of 2020.

Over 75% of cyber-attacks started with an email.

Cybersecurity is a collection of best practices you use can use to protect yourself and your business from data and identity theft.

“You’ve got to pay attention to your emails, pay attention to links inside of emails, attachments. If you’re not sure where it came from, I wouldn’t suggest opening it,” Cybersecurity instructor Stetson Seib said.

Seib says clicking a sketchy link can open you to up ransomware attacks, allowing a hacker to access to your device and hold your files hostage.

“It could be identity theft, they could get into access banking information, social security numbers, stuff like that, to actually take over your identity. They can open up new credit cards into your account, they could go form new lines of credit, they could ruin your credit score, things of that nature,” Seib said.

Hackers may even ask for ransom money, forcing you to pay to decrypt your own data.

One way to protect yourself is by changing your passwords, and using unique passwords for each web site. This can be frustrating, so Sieb recommends using an application like LastPass to help you manage passwords across all your devices.

“It can help you store randomly-generated passwords. That way, you don’t have to try to remember them, and it will help you keep from using the same password on multiple different accounts, which kind of helps stop the bleeding,” Seib said.

Seib said small businesses are often targeted and personal cybersecurity practices often correlate with business security.

“The biggest hole in the company’s security is going to be their end users. They can pay all the money they want to to get all the hardware, they want to help secure their networks. But if the end user isn’t trained, the end user isn’t aware of what’s going on, then that’s going to be the front door for any bad actor to get into a company,” Seib said.

Cybercrime prevention and recovery starts with education.

South Plains College is offering a 10-week course starting this weekend.

Here’s the course description provided by SPC:

South Plains College Lubbock Center will offer Cyber Security courses from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays from Feb. 1 through April 14. The 10-week course will be offered at the SPC Lubbock Center campus, 3907 Ave. Q. The cost is $430.

Students will be provided with instruction in Cyber Security aimed at equipping them with essential knowledge and skills to protect an organization’s information assets. The class is designed to interactively teach students about a gamut of information security threats ranging from identity theft and cyber fraud. Students will develop skills to not only identify threats but also to alleviate them effectively.

The course outline consists of the following:

  • Introduction to Security
  • Securing Operating Systems
  • Malware and Antivirus
  • Internet Security
  • Security on Social Networking Sites
  • Securing Email Communications
  • Securing Mobile Devices
  • Securing Network Connections
  • Data Backup and Disaster Recovery

Students also will learn Cloud Security, Password Security, Social Engineering Countermeasures, Safe Browsing, Data Protection, Physical Security, Credit Card Security, Monitoring children online, Wireless and Home Network Security as well as Operating Systems Security.

For more information, contact Stephanie Prieto, administrative assistant, at (806) 716-4604 or email saprieto@southplainscollege.edu.

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