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October 4, 2016

For Release: Immediately

National Cyber Security Awareness Month Reminder: Be Cyber-Savvy

The Department of Homeland Security has declared October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. is proud to serve this initiative as a Champion Organization. 

“National Cyber Security Awareness Month ensures all Americans have the resources to be safer and more secure online,” said Michael L. Mosher, President and C.E.O. of Central Hudson. The campaign urges residents to learn and understand cyber security risks while interacting with technology, remain attentive to warning signs, and to continue to use technology after precautions have been taken.

 “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 Mosher. “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, and use 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.

“Cyber criminals may also use email, the Internet and other methods to perpetuate utility billing scams, so our customers should be aware of how to avoid becoming victimized,” said Mosher. Customers receiving emails, calls, or even personal visits are warned 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 and report the incident to their local police department,” he said.

“Just as our customers should remain vigilant when accessing email and the Internet with their computers, tablets and smart phones, Central Hudson also prepares and trains our employees to guard against cyber risks,” he said.

Central Hudson works in close partnership with utility industry groups 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 one of our most important responsibilities.”

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

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