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Watch those emails: State advises caution during Cyber Security Awareness Month

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018  |  Article  |  By WJBC Staff

Internet, Social Media (98)

SPRINGFIELD – State officials say phishing scams are some of the biggest dangers on the Internet.

This is Cyber Security Awareness Month. State Chief Information Security Officer Chris Hill said the phishing emails have gotten more sophisticated and detailed in hopes the recipient will open the message.

“We’re seeing a lot more going personally after folks about their family,” Hill said. “Instilling that fear and discomfort is really what’s gaining ground.

This can include threats against your family or your career if you don’t send money, or claiming money is waiting for you if you send certain personal details. Hill said the best thing to do is delete any suspicious emails without opening them and report the incident to your employer.

Bogus emails are some of the main tools hackers use to get your personal information or into your employer’s network. Jennifer Rominger with the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology said they may seem realistic and threaten your family, your reputation or job.

“If it’s eliciting an emotion from you, really just stop,” Rominger advised. “There’s no harm in ever pausing, thinking, investigating, which is very hard as a human, especially if it’s fear.”

Rominger also said you should delete any suspicious emails and never open an attachment unless you know the sender. Some employers, including the state of Illinois, have a reporting system where you can forward questionable messages.