‘Our nation’s biggest threat’: Cyber experts host cyber and emerging threat symposium

Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 12:23 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Officials from Florida Technology Council are teaming up with FBI Jacksonville to warn business owners, elderly people, and parents about the latest cyber threats.

It’s the first cyber and emerging threat symposium hosted in Gainesville since its creation in 2016.

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“Cyber security is our nation’s biggest threat and it’s no different in Florida than any other state,” said Florida Technology Council CEO James Taylor. “We might be a larger target because of our large senior population. One of the challenges we have in our state is knowing what steps to take to protect ourselves.

Cyber threats range from ransomware, email hacks, spam, and phishing. These tactics can prevent people from accessing their files leading to extortion.

Lead agent of the FBI division in Jacksonville Sherri Onks said the FBI received 800,000 internet crime complaints last year, resulting in more than $10 billion in schemes.

“If you have been victimized, we’re going to give you tips on what to do to make sure that you are not a victim,” said Onks. “If you are, we’re going to make sure you know somebody to call immediately with the FBI so we can be at your door step.”

Taylor said the social media app, Tiktok is one of the newest threats.

“The FBI has said this for years, we’ve been saying that for years and everyone goes oh I don’t really care if they know that I’m out dancing on a street corner,” said Taylor. “It’s not dancing on a street corner, it’s that data that goes along with that video that will get you in trouble.”

Keeping updated software, not clicking on suspicious links, and monitoring your accounts are ways to keep you safe from being an easy target to cyber threats.

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