Gordon State College Holds Class for Email Phishing


Cybercriminal activity is one of the biggest challenges that humanity will face in the next two decades, according to the 2019 Official Annual Cybercrime Report by Cybersecurity Ventures, sponsored by Herjavec Group. 

Gordon State College is striving to ensure students, faculty, staff and residents in its 14-county service region are not targets for these crimes. According to Homeland Security, October is named National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.                                    cyber security

The Gordon State College Information Technology Department at is offering three, one-hour long sessions to help avoid these attacks. The free sessions will be at 10 AM on October 4, 11 and 25 in Russell Hall, room 211. In the hour long cybersecurity class GSC will be going over the latest scam in the phishing realm, regarding something that looks like your Microsoft Office 365 account.

According to Cybersecurity Ventures, “Cybercrime is the greatest threat to every company in the world, and one of the biggest problems with mankind.” Cybersecurity Ventures predicts “cybercrime will cost the world in excess of $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015.”

 “The IT team can’t do it alone,” said GSC Information Security Officer Jason Byrd. “Cyber security is everyone’s responsibility. Information security efforts will only be successful when all members of the campus community understand the risks and take steps to avoid them.”

Byrd is constantly assisting student, faculty and staff accounts to verify the sender’s validity. Byrd says the easiest way to avoid compromising an account is to “delete any emails that say you can make extra money, by modeling, purchasing items from stores as a consumer or pet-sitting for $350 weekly. Any email that asks you to do little-to-nothing and make extra money for doing it is too good to be true. This is called phishing.”

Phishing examples include receiving emails, texts, or calls that seem to be from companies or people you know, when it’s actually from scammers.  Scammers want you to click on a link or give personal information, like a password, so they can steal your money or identity, and get access to your computer or a network.

Other guidelines to follow are: Avoiding the hook. Look up the website or phone number for the company or person trying to contact you. Look for scam tip-offs, if the message is missing your name or uses poor grammar and spelling, it is most likely a scam. Byrd said lastly, “Protect yourself and be proactive. Keep your computer security up-to-date, and use strong passwords with capital and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.”

 For organizations, the costs associated with cybercrime are vast. Cybercrime costs include damage and destruction of data, stolen money, lost productivity, theft of intellectual property, theft of personal and financial data, post-attack disruption to the normal course of business, reputational harm, and more, according to Cybersecurity Ventures, sponsored by Herjavec Group.