Interview edited for clarity.
FRED FLETCHER-FIERRO (HOST) : It’s Morning Edition on KRPS; I’m Fred Fletcher-Fierro. October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month as more than 30,000 companies per day are hacked globally. With an estimated cost for companies about 6 billion dollars this year alone to fix security breaches. Earlier this week I spoke with Stephanie Garland, Regional Director of the Better Business Bureau in Springfield, Missouri to tell us about some of the ways that we should protect ourselves online.
STEPHANIE GARLAND (GUEST) : What people should watch out for is these smart devices, baby monitors, internet from the car, perhaps even your fridge, your doorbell heating the air conditioning, your HVAC system, some cases, even the window blinds in exchange for convenience. People are putting trust in all kinds of online smart devices.
But unfortunately, there are hackers out there. He just want to haunt your house, sneak into your system and hold things for ransom until you pay them money. So if you’re hearing a strange voice in your house, it could be the voice of a hacker who has taken over one of your internet. Connected devices, evil doers in disguise are on the prowl.
Their sneaky fishers, they’re gathering information about you. They’re making fake email accounts. They may even be your boss, your lawyer, your realtor, or somebody that you trust. So keep in mind that these people are targeting you. They’re trying to get high dollar transactions and interfere with those so that you will give them the money instead of your banker for example.
FRED : Texting or emailing phishing scams continue to be popular. According to Kaspersky security, 37% of cyber attacks start with Zip or Jar email attachments. The computer in both of these extensions can be written in fashion so that it is undetectable to even the best computer security software. Spam text or emails with incredible prices that tempt you to click on them from an unknown number can lead to big problems for you.
STEPAHNIE : Make sure that you are not clicking ads on these improbably good deals, secure your smart devices. Make sure that you’re installing anti-malware on your smartphone. Consider even having two factor authentication set up for your work, email, your personal emails, make sure that you’re having the anti-malware on your other devices as well.
And encrypt your wifi, name, your router, and keep your software up to date. Make sure that you are asking about the smart devices before you buy them. And you’re asking about their vulnerabilities because the last thing you want is for somebody to hack into your baby monitor and be screaming at your child.
FRED : Many of us have numerous passwords that we use for the countless accounts that we have online that also using 2-factor authentication could seem burdensome. And some people would respond, isn’t a password good enough? Imagine that somebody got access to your username and password for your bank account, but you had authorized two-factor authentication, that individual would be blocked from going any further without that unique code that only you have.
STEPHANIE : What we know at the Better Business Bureau is that it’s important to keep your devices safe. It’s important for you to do your research and to make sure that you realize the differences, because there are a lot of different opportunities out there.
FRED : Stephanie Garland is the Regional Director of the Better Business Bureau in Springfield, Missouri. To hear this interview again, or more about Cybersecurity Awareness Month, visit Krpsnews.com For 89 9 KRPS, I’m Fred Fletcher-Fierro