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Cyber Threats: How Northern Michigan Businesses Stand Prepared

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For local businesses staying safe goes far beyond physical building security.

That’s why MidMichigan Community College hosted a cyber security panel this week to help protect those businesses from cyber threats.

The Small Business Development Center traveled to Mount Pleasant this week to help teach local business owners how to protect themselves from cyber threats.

Bill’s Custom Fabric Office Manager Jessica Vautrin is one of many representing local businesses just hoping to protect their livelihood.

Physically and virally.

When asked about cyber hacking Jessica says, “That’s a huge fear of course no business wants anybody to control their information. You just see cyber threats happening everyday our local Better Business Bureau sends us emails it seems every week with a new threat that someone is out there using.”

And as cyber expert Jonn Hey says, exposing yourself to online crime isn’t hard; “It’s as easy as clicking on the wrong thing. Whether it’s a link in an email that you didn’t know was a Paelo to your network of its something that you don’t normally send out that your networks not secure.”

There are some basic tips to keep your business safe.

First, learn how to identify spam and when in doubt, don’t click

“Second thing would be awareness. make sure you’re aware of what’s going on out there and make sure you know what those threats are especially around email cause so much of this comes in through email,” says Hey.

More reliable protection also comes from being prepared.

Hey says, “The best things are having good security standards whether it’s good passwords and things like that, good IT standards.”

Because even if you think you know every trick in the online book, scammers are continually coming up with more.

“So this is a huge huge issue,” says Hey.

“You might think like ‘oh that would never, I would never fall for that,’ well they work and that’s why it happens.”

Experts also say e-mails from business addresses that are just one letter or number off can be a sure sign of a virus.