October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month in Michigan

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FLINT (WJRT) - (10/06/17) - Have you reset your password lately? The state is taking steps to help make sure you're protected online. Governor Snyder has proclaimed October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

We know that cyber threats are increasing each and everyday. This week alone we learned the Yahoo security breach of 2013 actually impacted all three billion of its users. Also, with the recent Equifax hack some victims are still wondering what they should do next.

That's why being proactive is key.

"The easiest thing most everyone of the attacks, in some way shape or form had to do with a password," Doug Witten said.

Witten is the Cyber Defense Program Director at Baker College-Flint. He says that is what happened with the Equifax hack that exposed confidential information of some 143 million Americans.

"We would teach our freshman to secure this stuff. They [hackers] got in using admin admin for the username and password to the Equifax web server," he said.

On a smaller scale, what you do daily in your home could save you a ton of grief and money. According to the FBI, Michigan residents and businesses have lost more than $31 million dollars to cybercriminal activities so far this year. Witten thinks it could even be more than that. He advises you to, at the very least, check and change your passwords.

"It's amazing that people still have stuff tied to their user or their person, something to do with their name, where they went to high school at, you know, kids names, pets, anniversaries, any of that kind of stuff," Witten said. "Any combination of that is very easy to figure out."

The state has accumulated a list of cybersecurity tips that you can find online in the related links section of this article.

The cyber defense program at Baker has some big things in store, including playing host for a skills competition with six other colleges and universities across the nation on Oct. 28 - 29.

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