March 17, 2020
Alpine Communications is tenaciously seeking information that will protect our customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Criminals will take advantage of this crisis and everyone needs to be vigilant and safe. We received a news release from the State of Iowa and want to make sure you have these cybersecurity tips and resources if you are a remote worker or distance learner.
Release: from the Office of the Chief Information Officer, State of Iowa
CONTACT: Gloria Van Rees, 515.782.3661
DES MOINES, Iowa —The Office of the Chief Information Officer of the State of Iowa as an organization is tasked with a focus on meeting the technology needs of all levels of government. In this time of more Iowans living online for work, school, and entertainment as a result of social distancing or quarantine, it is more important than ever to emphasize cybersecurity. OCIO encourages the practice of safe cybersecurity strategies when working from home to keep personal and professional information safe.
- Increase identification of threats– This can include simple steps like reviewing software on a personal computer to make sure it is up to date or double-checking links of online stores before entering personal information. If something looks suspicious, it probably is.
- It is “phishing” season– Remember that cybercriminals know more people will be online so look out for phishing emails or suspicious requests for personal information. Take this Phishing Quiz to see how hard it can be to catch phishing attempts. Cyber criminals will use COVID-19 themed emails in their phishing campaigns. Do not click on links or open attachments in unexpected messages. Verify suspicious emails even if they appear to come from agency leaders.
- Practice good security– Take this quiz to find out how cyber-savvy you really are. Verify that all devices are up to date on patches and that anti-virus software is running. Get permission from agency IT staff before installing software on your work device.
- Telework Securely- Use employer-provided equipment for telework and implement two-factor authentication for all accounts, including email and remote access. Do not use personal cloud accounts to store\send confidential agency information. Encrypt removable media (i.e. DVDs, flash drives) containing confidential work data.
For more information on good cybersecurity practices, The Iowa Department of Public Safety on Monday released 6 tips to increase cybersecurity, including insights from The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the Iowa Department of Public Safety.
If you think you are the victim of a cyber crime you should report it to the following law enforcement agencies.
TO REPORT IF YOU’VE BEEN SCAMMED:
Office of the Attorney General of Iowa
Consumer Protection Division
Hoover State Office Building
1305 E. Walnut Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0106
Phones: 515-281-5926 or 888-777-4590 (outside of the Des Moines metro area)
TO REPORT IDENTITY THEFT:
Iowa Department of Revenue
1305 E Walnut Street Fourth Floor, 0107
Des Moines 50319
Website Report Form: https://tax.iowa.gov/report-fraud-and-identity-theft
TO REPORT INTERNET CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN:
Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation
Iowa ICAC Task Force
2006 S. Ankeny Blvd.
Ankeny, Iowa 50023