State says phishing is Hawaii's biggest cyber security issue
When it comes to cyber security in Hawaii, the state says phishing is our biggest issue. That's when a scammer tries to steal personal information like your credit card details by pretending to be a trustworthy source. Cyber security experts say scammers are getting more aggressive with their attacks, making these fake messages sound believable.
"These are same problems that have been happening for very very long time. It's just the frequency has been magnified and so our approach have just been focusing on the basics and being very very consistent at it," Vicent Hoang, Office of Enterprise Technology Services, said.
According to a FBI report last year, Hawaii ranked number 42 out of 57 including U.S. territories with 1,100 victims who lost money from scams. The most scammed state is California with almost 50,000 victims.
Devin Wolery, who operates PC Gamerz Hawaii, an eSports center with dozens of potential hack sites tries his best to keep he and his customers safe.
"It's about doing your due diligence And checking your facts," he said.
He also frequently gets phishing emails.
"The best approach is to not do anything," Wolery said. "A lot of times when it says dear sir, madam is a good way to know it's not for you or it's just a bulk email. If it's got a lot of misspelled words. It's gonna be another hint or really really bad grammar."
Another tip to keep you and your money safe online: stay updated on software on your devices because outdated programs may be easier to hack.
If you do fall victim to an online scam, report it so government agencies can help prevent another incident.
The Hawaii State Public Library System is also hosting some cyber security awareness events this month. One is called "Safe and Secure".
Island of Oahu
- October 13, 11:30 a.m. – Pearl City Public Library
- October 16, 3:30 p.m. – Aina Haina Public Library
- October 16, 5:30 p.m. – Waipahu Public Library
- October 19, 12 p.m. – Hawaii State Library
- October 21, 5:30 p.m. – Mililani Public Library
- October 21, 6 p.m. – Kalihi-Palama Public Library
- October 22, 10:30 a.m. – Aiea Public Library
- October 23, 6:30 p.m. – Waianae Public Library
- October 12, 2 p.m. – Hilo Public Library
Island of Kauai
- October 16, 2 p.m. – Hanapepe Public Library
- October 16, 5 p.m. – Waimea Public Library
Islands of Maui & Molokai
- October 19, 2 p.m. – Kahului Public Library
- October 24, 3 p.m. – Molokai Public Library
For more information on Cyber Security month in Hawaii and other events, visit ets.hawaii.gov/state-of-hawaii-cyber-security-program/.