‘A real problem’: More kids, parents working from home sparks increase in threat of cyber attacks

Grand Strand

CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) — With kids starting virtual school and parents working from home, one local cybersecurity professor says there’s an increased threat of hackers trying to get your information.

“The more you use the internet and go to different websites, you increase your risk of getting hacked,” Horry Georgetown Technical College cybersecurity professor Stanton Greenawalt said.

Greenawalt said it’s important to turn your computer off at night. “A lot of the time, these attacks occur at night when we’re asleep.”

He also said to be aware of the websites you’re clicking on, and make sure that they’re sites you recognize.

“It’s very easy for the hacker to develop websites that look very similar to a website that they know people use,” Greenawalt said.

He said schools are generally good about making sure kids know which sites they’ll use to be safe.

But, some people connect their phones to things like doorbell cameras — an opportunity for hackers too.

Greenawalt said phishing, the fraudulent attempt to get personal information, can also impact those working or learning from home.

“There’s nothing from keeping a person from developing their own email server, coming up with identical email addresses and then sending it to you, or something very similar, maybe one letter misspelled,” he pointed out.

He saaid it’s important to pay attention to the emails you’re clicking on.

“If you don’t recognize it, don’t open it. If it’s that important, they’ll send it again,” Greenawalt said.

For school programs given to kids through their school districts, Greenawalt points out, those are safe, because most of the time, you have to go to the site through the district’s website.

Greenawalt recommends letting your internet service provider bring in their network security system, or firewall, to help protect your wireless system from cyber attacks.

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