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Jimmy Patronis: With Holidays Approaching, Floridians Should Focus on Cyber Security

On Thursday, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis recognized the month of October as Cyber Security Awareness Month and offered cyber security tips to keep you, your family, and your business safe from potential scam artists, hackers and fraud.

“Technology is the way of the future. As a ‘techie’ myself and the father of two boys, I understand the importance of keeping a close eye on internet activity and ensuring that our home network stays safe and secure. The internet is a wonderful thing, but stay alert and keep all of your electronic devices updated to ward off potential predators who want nothing more than to steal your identity, obtain your banking information, or perhaps worse. I tell my boys all the time to be careful what you share and what you click on while online. Keep strong passwords, and if you’re a parent, ensure your parental controls are tight and full proof,” Patronis said.

Patronis stressed that cyber security is more important around the holiday season.

“As the holidays approach and you spend more time shopping on the internet, please remember to exercise your best judgement and stay aware of hazards and scammers online. With the advent of A.I. and ChatGPT, it is very easy to mimic loved ones, friends, or businesses in order to obtain private information about you and your family. Don’t let the best time of the year become the worst time of the year because you didn’t take the simple yet necessary precautions to place a firewall between you and the ghouls and grinches who want to haunt your holidays and steal your piece of mind,” Patronis said.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers the following cyber security tips:

Lock down your login. Ensure passphrases for each account are lengthy, unique, and safely stored. Enable 2-factor authentication on all accounts that offer it.

Update your system and software. Updating to the most current software, web browsers, and operating systems are some of the easiest and fastest ways to protect your most sensitive assets.

Back it up. Protect your personal and workplace data by making electronic copies – or backups – of your most important files. Use the 3-2-1 rule to help guide you: 3 backup copies, two different media types, and one offline in a separate location.

Clean up your online presence. When did you last use all the apps on your phone or tablet? Do you know the settings on all social media accounts that check in with friends and family? Check up on all your accounts. Then, control your role by ensuring you know who has administrative access to your accounts. Keep all of your passwords private.

Be careful what you share. Quizzes on social media are fun, and keeping in touch is necessary. However, questions on social media might give away too much information about you, your location, or your family.

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  • Florida Daily

    Florida Daily offers news, insights and analysis as we cover the most important issues in the state, from education, to business and politics.

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