Home Politics Ohio Attorney General spearheads campaign to increase cyber awareness

Ohio Attorney General spearheads campaign to increase cyber awareness

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Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine recently announced a cybersecurity campaign aimed at promoting ways for Ohioans to stay safe online.

October serves as National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and the campaign is part of a widespread effort across Ohio to increase awareness about cybercrime throughout the month.

The campaign, which is being done through DeWine’s office, will focus on promoting safe online practices by placing messages in public transit systems and making cybersecurity-themed ads accessible to libraries and schools across Ohio.

“We want to give people practical tips to stay safe online,” DeWine said. “Cybercrime and identity theft are serious problems in Ohio and across the country, and we want to let people know what they can do to help protect themselves.”

Much of the campaign, which is being funded through a $25,000 grant from the Sears Consumer Protection and Education Fund, focuses on taking preemptive action for cybersecurity.

“This initiative is aimed at prevention and giving people steps that they can take to try to protect their identities before the problem occurs,” Public Information Officer for the Attorney General Kate Hanson said.

Although the campaign focuses primarily on consumer prevention, Ohio’s Department of Homeland Security, a partner organization of the Attorney General’s office, is taking an all-inclusive approach to addressing the issue.

“I don’t think that we can ever stress enough about how important cybersecurity is,” said Sgt. Tom Gerber, deputy chief of operations for the Strategic Analysis and Information Center at the the department. “I think that there’s some folks in the state who are aware of that, who have either been adversely affected by it – that’s usually what it takes to get someone to become more aware – or someone that’s in the industry.”

The department works with national organizations like United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center to share information on cybersecurity, Gerber said.

A study published in March by the Internet Crime Complaint Center ranked Ohio as one of the top 10 states for cybercrime. The same institution also placed Ohio in the top 20 states for identity theft.

“Ohio has a lot of attractive targets,” Gerber said. “Infrastructure, manufacturing and the financial sector here in Ohio – these things make it an ideal target for anybody that’s thinking to steal information or commit fraud.”

Hackers could be looking for data, financial profit or trying to spark activism, he said.

“People are doing what they’re doing because it works,” Gerber said. “And it’s continuing to work.”

Groups seeking cybersecurity resources can contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office by visiting the Attorney General’s website.

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