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Cybersecurity Awareness: Tech’s Brown Said Phishing And Spyware Key

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cybersecurity Awareness: Tech’s Brown Said Phishing And Spyware Key

Phishing and spyware. Two cybersecurity issues the average Upper Cumberland resident needs to be ready for.

That according to Tennessee Tech’s Eric Brown. Brown is Associate Director Of the Cybersecurity Education, Research & Outreach Center. He said phishing ranks as the most profitable cyber attack for scammers. Phishing is when a scammer emails, texts or calls pretending to be a person or company to get you to give them personal information.

Brown said there is a simple solution to avoid this scam.

“Our smartphones have this amazing new app on them that people forget they can use,” Brown said. “The app allows you to type in a number and a human being will join you on the other line and you can have a voice conversation with them. We forget that’s on our phones anymore. We think we can only text, but end of the day call, check it out, make sure its authentic.”

Brown said verifying messages and emails, signing up for two-step authentication on frequently visited sites, and using common sense would prevent 80 to 90 percent of cyber attacks. October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Brown said most people think cybersecurity is something big corporations or governments have to worry about, but that also impacts us.

“Unfortunately, they’re all related,” Brown said. “When we watch the news, and we see the announcements about the big attacks, whether it be a nation-state or on a company, its still about us as well, that’s the same story. Because those companies being attacked, information is being gathered and that information is on us.”

Brown said another simple solution to avoiding a cyber attack, especially when using social media, is two-step authentication.

“I’m sorry,” Brown said. “If you’re logging into a service and you’re not using two-factor authentication, you know the text message that comes back to your cell phone with a little code or something like that, shame on you, you’re asking for it. You’re asking to be attacked. That is one of the simplest protections. We talk about our life online then use a password of 1,2,3.”

Spyware is a program that discretely installs on your computer and runs in the background gathering information. Brown said free anti-malware software can help protect you from attacks like spyware by warning you when you click a link or start to download a program that is suspicious. However, Brown said the golden rule of avoiding a cyber attack is yet another simple solution.

“You are not going to get a $1,000 from a reserve fund by clicking this and providing your credit card information,” Brown said. “Its common sense. If it looks phony and if it looks too good to be true, it is.”

Brown said in the future AI may help enhance some of these cyber attack techniques.


The post Cybersecurity Awareness: Tech’s Brown Said Phishing And Spyware Key appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.