South Dakota FOCUS: Financial and Cyber Security

Last Updated by SDPB on

Thursday night (November 19) on South Dakota FOCUS, host Stepanie Rissler and a panel of experts focus on financial and cyber security. 

The Nilson Report — which tracks global payment card fraud — reported over $16 billion in worldwide losses for 2014. The US accounted for over 48% of those losses.

Jeff Litterick — a Network Technology Engineer for the South Dakota Bureau of Information and Telecommunications (BIT) — advises that people take a holistic approach to protecting their identities. Taking precautions is smart, but keeping a close eye on accounts to catch suspicious activity early is also key.

“Probably the most important defense right now is monitoring all of your financial accounts — checking, savings, credit cards, PayPal accounts. Almost everything is accessible online now, which is both good and bad. It’s bad in that once people can use information to steal money. It’s good in that you can track everything and set up alerts on behaviors that you know you wouldn’t do.”

Identity theft can happen online, over the phone, or even at the gas pump. A credit card skimmer was found Tuesday at a gas pump in Aberdeen. 

There are many different phone scams. Some callers claim to represent various government agencies and threaten trouble if the caller doesn’t pay a supposed debt. Some target seniors claiming to be a grandchild. Litterick recommends verifying every time. The IRS will send a letter before they call. If your grandson is really in jail and in need of bail money, you should be able to look up the number for the jail and call to make sure he’s truly there. 

Jim Edman, BIT Chief Security Officer, says to watch out for email phishing scams.  “If somebody is asking for your credentials [user name & password], just delete the message. If it feels unusual, it probably is.”

Watch out for phony emails or calls from tech sector giants too. “If anybody calls your home or sends you an email purporting to be from Apple, Microsoft, Google, etc…,” says Edman, “it’s a scam. Hang up or delete the message.” 

Online, various kinds of malware can steal credit card information. Keystroke loggers — which record data you enter through your keyboard, and can be programmed to recognize credit card numbers or other specific types of data — can enter your computer through emails, websites and web ads. One way to avoid malware is to conduct regular updates to get the latest software patches. 

But these precautions are not foolproof, which is why Litterick recommends you don’t take for granted that your accounts won’t be compromised.

“Monitoring is the biggest defense, so you can detect any kind of identity theft or stealing process early and cut it off fast with your bank or financial institution. When you do see something unusual, like your FICO score changes suddenly and you didn’t do anything that would have changed it, investigate quickly.” 

Scammers can’t be avoided by everybody all the time, at least for now. By detecting security breaches early, you can isolate the problem before it grows out of control.

subscribe to sdpb email updates food and cooking banner image learning blog link living blog link news and information blog link science and technology blog link sports blog link image

The Latest From SDPB Radio News

FEMA Housing Lands On Pine Ridge Following Disaster

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is placing new mobile homes on Pine Ridge following spring storms and...

Daugaard Proposes Medicaid Expansion In $4.8-Billion Budget

Governor Dennis Daugaard is proposing a total state budget of about $4.8-billion for fiscal year 2017. You can...

Dakota Midday: Attorney General Marty Jackley Discusses 24/7

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley recently returned from the National Association of Attorneys General...

Dakota Midday: GF&P Secretary Kelly Hepler

While broadcasting live from the state capitol building in Pierre, Cara Hetland visited with Kelly Hepler, Secretary...

Dakota Midday: Wink And Sutton Look Forward To Budget Address

South Dakota Speaker of the House Dean Wink and Democratic Senator Billie Sutton visited with guest host Cara Hetland ahead of Governor Dennis Daugaard's annual...

Hawks To Introduce Resolution On College Debt

One South Dakota lawmaker says she’s crafting a resolution about debt-free college. Democratic State Representative Paula Hawks says she wants to start a conversation...

Dakota Midday: Images Of The Past Potato Creek Johnny

Potato Creek Johnny is featured in this week's Images of the Past. Jessica Michak, Archivist with the HomestakeAdams...

Dakota Midday: Health Insurance Change Has Financial Consequences

Certain people who buy health insurance on the federal exchange could find themselves paying significantly more money in January if they don’t change their plans soon....

Dakota Midday: Budget And Policy Council Anticipates Budget Address

Joy Smolnisky, Executive Director, South Dakota Budget and Policy Institute discusses Medicaid expansion, Indian Health Services, education funding, and state revenue...

SD Scientists Welcome Renewable Research Boost

World leaders are meeting in Paris to hash out a new agreement on the best way to deal with climate change. As part...

The Latest from NPR News

White House Briefly Put On Lockdown After Driver Hits Security Barrier

The Secret Service said the vehicle did not breach the barricade and the female driver was quickly apprehended.

Gothamist Properties Will Be Revived Under New Ownership: Public Media

WNYC will buy Gothamist, KPCC will acquire LAist, and WAMU is taking over DCist. The move is funded by two anonymous...

Seychelles Finds A Novel Way To Swap Its Debt For Marine Protections

The Indian Ocean nation has brokered a novel deal that is intended to protect nearly one third of its marine area...

FDA Finds Hazards Lurking In Parsley, Cilantro, Guacamole

The Food and Drug Administration has started testing randomly selected fresh herbs and prepared guacamole. So far...

How 1 Tweet From Kylie Jenner Caused Snap, Inc. To Lose $1 Billion

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Will Oremus, a senior technology writer at Slate about how a recent tweet by Kylie...

Teachers Across The Country Are Thinking About Active Shooter Situations

President Trump tweeted this week that teachers should be armed, in response to the deadly shooting at Marjory...