AUSTIN (KXAN) — October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Over the last month, the Texas attorney general received 61 data breach reports impacting tens of thousands of Texans.
The reports include social security numbers and other personal information stolen.
“Phishing is the cause of over 90% of attacks,” said Grace Hoyt, a Google cybersecurity expert.
“Phishing is when a scammer will try to bait and hook you in by impersonating a trusted source. So that could be a bank or government or maybe even a place where you shop frequently,” said Hoyt. “This is their attempt to kind of get access to your personal information.”
A simple tip to avoid getting scammed?
“If you receive a text message or an email from something that even if it looks trusted, before you click on that URL, you should verify that. So if you’re on your phone, hold down that URL and check if it really looks right to you. Check for any typos or things like that,” said Hoyt.
With online shopping, Hoyt said there is a common mistake consumers often make.
“We do notice that people tend to reuse 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.
“Folks have probably created a lot of passwords, especially in the last few years, spending more time online for school or work, and passwords really do matter. So, we don’t want a bad actor to get access to your password,” Hoyt said.
With more school districts using online devices to assign and grade school work, Hoyt said “the Google Chromebook has had no successful ransomware attacks. The Chromebook is a really secure tool for kids.”
A list of the Texas attorney general’s data security breach reports is online.