ARE YOU SECURE? October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

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.

AFTER #HURRICANEIRMA, social media keeps members posted.

THE FACEBOOK POST Palmetto Electric members had been waiting for after Tropical Storm Irma struck the Lowcountry, knocking out power for approximately 15,000 members, came two days later: “100% RESTORED – As of 8:00 pm Tuesday evening (Sept. 12), power has been restored to all PEC members.” Member replies, equally appreciated, quickly followed. Cindy LouContinue Reading

STAY CONNECTED BY UPDATING YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION

In the utility business, we know rough weather will occur, and sometimes power outages simply can’t be avoided. But did you know there are steps you can take to ensure your electricity is restored as quickly and safely as possible? By keeping your contact information up-to-date, you can take full advantage of the services PalmettoContinue Reading

HIGH SEASON FOR SCAMMERS

They’re as seasonal as summer but always a bummer. We’re talking about scammers. Sadly, each summer scammers prey on our members. In July, we alerted members via social media that bad guys, misrepresenting themselves as Palmetto Electric employees, were calling our members, threatening to disconnect power if a payment was not made that day. InContinue Reading

YOUTH GET QUALITY TIME WITH GOVERNOR, LEARN CO-OP ADVANTAGES

FORTY-SIX HIGH school students representing 15 electric cooperatives around South Carolina spent three days in the Columbia area July 26-28 on the first statewide Cooperative Youth Summit, which included a much longer visit with the governor than had been planned. Palmetto Electric sponsored Sophia Topping of Hilton Head High School, daughter of Mati Topping, andContinue Reading

CO-OP WARNS MEMBERS OF RECENT SCAM ATTEMPTS

Palmetto Electric Cooperative is reminding the public of how to avoid scams perpetrated either on the telephone or in person. President and CEO Berl Davis says alert co-op members have reported both types of scamming in recent days. In the telephone scam, the caller poses as a representative of Palmetto Electric. The scam caller statesContinue Reading