CYBER SECURITY AWARENESS MONTH: DO YOUR PART, BE #CYBERSMART
CT State Agencies Urge Everyone To Do A Security Checkup
(Wethersfield, CT) – Connecticut Department of Labor (CTDOL) Commissioner Kurt Westby, CT Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) Commissioner James C. Rovella, and Connecticut Chief Information Officer Mark Raymond are highlighting the importance of Cyber Security Awareness Month and reminding people to do a security check up on all of their accounts.
CTDOL Commissioner Westby said, “CTDOL works every day to defend the unemployment system and claimants against cyber attacks. Cyber Security Month is a great reminder that our customers should do the same. A few simple changes can make all the difference between a safe account and a compromised account. Customers must take security seriously—we flag and hold applications regularly when something seems amiss, but prevention is the best tool for keeping unemployment benefits going to the right people. Past data breaches in insurance, credit rating agencies, and big box stores can and do compromise claimant information—change your passwords regularly, use different passwords, and don’t fall for phishing schemes. Fraud costs everyone—individuals and businesses, so do your part and be #CyberAware.”
DESPP Commissioner James C. Rovella said, “It’s important that every citizen of Connecticut is aware of and practices strong cyber security. For your own protection, you should use very strong passwords and understand that in our day and age there are constant scams out there; people must be vigilant. COVID-19 has increased the number of scams out there, making it even more important to safeguard your accounts.”
Chief Information Officer Mark Raymond said, “It’s important to continually check, test, and re-check cyber defenses because technology is always changing. Everyone must be engaged in this critical activity to stay ahead of criminals and fraud.”
Cyber security experts recommend regular account maintenance to maintain the integrity and security of your personal information. Best practices include:
- Use different passwords for your social media, banking, email, and other accounts.
- Change your passwords regularly.
- Use strong passwords—upper and lowercase letters, symbols, and stay away from dictionary words.
- Monitor your accounts—if you had an email breach, more than just your email could be compromised.
In Connecticut, businesses pay unemployment claims costs through the Trust Fund. These websites offer recommendations to help companies protect their networks and information:
- Federal Trade Commission: Cybersecurity Resources for Non-Profits
- Federal Trade Commission: Cybersecurity for Small Business
- US-CERT: Resources for Small and Midsize Businesses
With the implementation of multiple federal unemployment programs launched in response to the pandemic, labor agencies across the country are seeing an uptick in criminal activity around unemployment claims. CTDOL, like its counterparts in other states, works with local, state, and federal law enforcement to identify and prevent fraud; constantly updates its fraud prevention protocols; and collaborates with state and federal law enforcement to pursue and prosecute unemployment fraud.