The cyber security expert talks about simple tips to keep your information safe at home and at school

AUSTIN (KXAN) — October is Cyber ​​Security Awareness Month. In the past month, the Texas attorney general has received 61 reports of data breaches affecting tens of thousands of Texans.

Reports include Social Security and other stolen personal information.

“Phishing accounts for over 90% of attacks,” said Grace Hoyt, Google’s cybersecurity expert.

“Phishing is when a scammer will try to lure you in and hook you up by pretending to be a trusted source. So it could be a bank or a government or maybe even a place where you shop often,” Hoyt said. “This is their attempt to gain access to your personal information.”

A simple tip to avoid being scammed?

“If you receive a text message or email from something that even looks trustworthy, before you click on that URL, you should verify it. So if you’re on your phone, hold that URL and check if it really looks right to you. Check for typos or things like that,” Hoyt said.

When shopping online, Hoyt said there’s a common mistake consumers often make.

“We notice that people tend to use the same password over and over and that’s a big no no,” Hoyt said.

Hoyt said Google’s password manager can generate complex passwords for you and save them.

“People have probably created a lot of passwords, especially in the last few years, spending more time online for school or work, and passwords really matter. So we don’t want a bad actor to get access to your password,” Hoyt said.

As more school districts use online devices to assign and grade schoolwork, Hoyt said, “Google Chromebooks have not had successful ransomware attacks. A Chromebook is a really safe tool for kids.”

List of Texas Attorney General Data Breach Reports is online.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *