EQUIFAX, SONY, Target, Home Depot, Yahoo and even the U.S. Office of Personnel Management have all been attacked by cybercriminals. Let’s face it: In today’s world, cybersecurity threats can seem overwhelming – and downright scary.
Cybersecurity, specifically the protection and security of consumer-members’ assets and the nation’s complex, interconnected network of power plants, transmission lines and distribution facilities is a top priority for electric cooperatives and other segments of the power industry.
This October, Palmetto Electric Cooperative is participating in National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). Under leadership from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, NCSAM raises awareness of basic cybersecurity practices.
Our information technology group is working with other co-ops and our statewide and national electric co-op associations, and together we have created and implemented measures to protect your information and the integrity of the grid. We are constantly developing assessments to evaluate and make improvements to face the ever-changing challenges of cybersecurity.
We can all combat cyberthreats, and you can ensure the security of your personal and professional data. To safeguard your computer:
- Keep all software on internet-connected devices – including PCs, tablets and smartphones – up to date to reduce risk of infection from malware.
- Create long passwords that only you will remember, and change them every six months. Remember, a strong password is at least 12 characters long.
- Avoid the use of thumb drives and other portable memory devices.
- Don’t click on web links or attached files in emails when you’re not certain of who the sender is.
- Keep pace with new ways to stay safe online. Check trusted websites for the latest information. Share security tips with friends, family and colleagues, and encourage them to be web wise.
Use and follow #cyberaware on social media to show and share your support. To learn more about NCSAM, visit staysafeonline.org.