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Oct. 4, 2018
For Release: Immediately
Cyber Awareness: Learn How to Stay Safe Online 

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. is serving as a Champion Organization to help promote safety and security while online. Champions represent companies and institutions dedicated to promoting a safer, more secure and more trusted internet.

"In electing to becoming a Champion Organization, Central Hudson joins a growing global effort among businesses, government agencies and others to promote the awareness of online safety and privacy," said Charles A. Freni, President and C.E.O. of Central Hudson.  "National Cyber Security Awareness Month reminds Internet users to be vigilant when it comes to online security."

The national campaign is held annually in October, and was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure the public has the resources needed to stay safer and more secure online. "National Cyber Security Awareness Month calls on residents to learn and understand cyber security risks while interacting online, remain attentive to warning signs, and to continue to use technology after precautions have been taken," said Freni.

 "Cyberattacks can result in theft of personal or business information, damage from destructive malware and the loss of data, however many of these risks can be prevented," said Freni. "Using up-to-date anti-virus software and deleting suspicious emails are examples of how our customers can protect themselves against cyberattacks."

Other steps customers can take to reduce their cyber risk include:

  • Creating long, complex passwords, using different passwords for different accounts, and never sharing passwords;
  • Avoiding strangers on social media and exercising caution when sharing personal information;
  • Deleting emails that appear suspicious, for example, those that create a sense of urgency;
  • Refraining from clicking on suspicious links or attachments in emails;
  • Only using USBs and other external devices from trusted sources, as these can be infected;
  • Ensuring software is updated with the latest security patches; and
  • Running up to date anti-virus software.

"Our customers should be aware of attempts by cyber criminals who may use email, phone calls and other methods to perpetuate utility billing scams, to avoid becoming victimized," said Freni. "Customers receiving emails, calls, or even personal visits are cautioned not to provide or verify their utility account or other personal information such as credit card, social security or bank routing numbers to suspicious individuals. If there is any doubt, customers may wish to ask for identification, which our employees will gladly supply, or note the email address, caller ID information or license plate numbers and report the incident to their local police department," he said.

"Just as our customers should remain attentive when using email and the Internet, Central Hudson also prepares and trains our employees to guard against cyber risks," he said. Freni explained that Central Hudson works in close partnership with utility industry associations and federal security agencies to ensure its computer systems are safe. "In addition, all of our employees undergo regular, periodic training on cyber security. Safeguarding our systems is among our most important responsibilities."

For more information on National Cyber Security Awareness Month and how to stay safe, visit www.staysafeonline.org/ and www.stopthinkconnect.org/

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October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. is serving this year as a Champion Organization to help promote safety while online.