Cybersecurity Drives Conversations, Sparks Safety Concerns

Aug 20, 2015

Credit Free Press via Flikr

Cybersecurity isn’t something to be taken lightly. And the more you know about how to protect yourself, the safer you’ll be.

You’d be amazed at the lengths cyber crooks will go in order to get personal information.

Ben Graybar of Hancock Bank says these bad guys will drive up and down streets watching for available Wi-Fi signals, searching for an unlocked server.

“If they find one that doesn’t have the little lock mechanism showing its secure, they’ll literally write down the address so they can come back in and do a tax and try to log in through that site,” Graybar says. “And there have been new circumstances where the bad guys would use that as the IP address home that they would log through, and so the homeowner suddenly has the Feds knocking on the door saying ‘why were you going to these places doing these things?’” 

Graybar also cautions against online banking over free Wi-Fi. He says the insecure networks leave private information open to theft.

Meanwhile, Mike Rosciam of Thomas Howell Ferguson offers tips on how people can protect themselves with their wireless home networks.

“You want to hide your display broadcasts of your name, you don’t want it to be obvious like your name or address on your wireless network. You want to change your administrative passwords, you need to secure that device,” he says.

And Samuel Rogers is a partner in Rogers, Gunter, Vaughn Insurance here in Tallahassee. He has some surprising information and advice about Bluetooth.

“The Bluetooth can be hacked,” Rogers says. “And like you say, I think most people connect to the Bluetooth on their cell phone once and it’s on forever.”

He says it’s better to use it when needed and then turn it off.

And Graybar of Hancock Bank reminds us that cybercriminals can start stealing by making what seems like normal purchases.

“That’s how the bad guys start is with the small charge. And especially when they go in and hack merchant services accounts,” he says. “Your favorite restaurant has had their credit card machine hacked into where the computers they use to transmit the information back and forth to the payers.”

Graybar says it takes police about 90 days to sift through small, unnoticeable charges to find the fraudulent one. He suggests people review their bank statements daily.

Guests made their comments on WFSU’s Public Affairs Program, Perspectives.