As a young boy growing up in rural LaGrange County, I recall we rarely locked our doors — everyone looked out for each other. But times have changed.
It seems every day we hear about another security breach, and today’s thieves aren’t targeting traditional goods like electronics or the family safe. Instead, these thieves want your (and our) data. Cyber thieves keep testing digital doorknobs to find a way to crack personal and business databases.
We take this threat seriously at LaGrange County REMC. After all, we are owned and governed by you, our members. You’ve placed your trust in us, and we’re committed to protecting your data while delivering reliable, safe and affordable power.
Unlike my old neighborhood, we don’t have a digital open door policy at LaGrange County REMC. As a cooperative, we’re part of a national network of consumer-controlled electricity providers working together to constantly evaluate and bolster cyber security measures. While there’s no surefire way to keep determined computer hackers out, we’re trying to make it a lot harder.
First, we train our employees to watch for suspicious electronic communications on our website and within email messages. We make regular updates to our software, secure our parameters and hire a security company to complete a cyber security audit.
You can help keep hackers from invading your personal data by applying some of the same measures: use strong passwords, keep your antivirus software updated and use a firewall. Pay special attention to links within email messages. One of the methods used by cyber thieves is known as “phishing.”
Hackers may send out an email message that looks legitimate with a link hoping people click on it. The link then opens into a site allowing the hacker access to your data.
In addition to keeping your data secure over the internet, never give out your social security number or account information over the phone. LaGrange County REMC will never call and ask you for your account information or ask you to make a payment with a prepaid debit card. If you have concerns, hang up the phone and call us at 877-463-7165.
At LaGrange County REMC, we work hard to minimize scam and cyber security risks. Of course, cyber security isn’t a one-time thing — we’re constantly improving and reinforcing our defenses with new technologies and best practices to protect your data and our operations.
No matter what security challenges appear in the future, we are striving to be ready to meet them. As always, LaGrange County REMC is looking out for you.