“Phishing” and “Pharming” aren’t simple Idaho activities anymore; they are real Internet threats designed to capture personal information.
With the increasing use of the Internet by Idaho children and continuing growth of online identity theft and financial fraud, Gov. Jim Risch is focusing attention on cyber security issues by declaring October as Cyber Security Awareness Month in Idaho.
As part of a press conference held Oct. 11 announcing the effort, a new Idaho-based cyber security Web site at www.idaho.gov/cyber was launched to promote online safety.
“It is vitally important that people who use the Internet understand how to protect themselves from fraud and identity theft. Even more important is the need to keep kids safe from sexual predators who may be online attempting to solicit them,” said Risch. “Our new Web site will help parents and children understand the risks that are online and allow them to use the Internet in a safe and productive manner.”
The Web site, developed through the state’s web portal, idaho.gov, helps users recognize the risks associated with online activities and provides guidance to the best Web resources.
The new site also provides links to good online habits, how to keep personal information safe, how to protect against online sexual predators, Internet fraud and how to recognize malicious e-mail. The Web site is geared to the interests of kids, teens, parents, businesses and educators.
Idaho’s cyber security awareness activities are part of a national campaign promoted by the National Cyber Security Alliance, a consortium of government agencies and industry sponsors. The campaign is designed to increase public awareness of cyber security and crime issues so that Internet users can take precautions to avoid online threats.
Throughout October, local and state government agencies are conducting comprehensive cyber security assessments as a pilot initiative for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to be used throughout all 50 states.
Forrest L. Anderson currently serves as ITD’s cyber security officer. Anderson said that he will be providing cyber security information throughout the department and will serve as a resource for any employee who has questions or concerns about cyber security.
“We will probably have an ITD Intranet page at some time in the future where we will be addressing security-related issues, best practices and information on key topics within the department,” Anderson said.
Cyber Security Awareness Month is being coordinated through the Information Technology Resource Management Council (ITRMC) and the Idaho Department of Administration.
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