Here in Wyoming, most of us are familiar with snowy weather and can handle it without much thought.
However, the cyber storm that started forming just before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—and then exploded after—is unfamiliar to most, and possibly more devastating.
The attacks on Russia’s computer and communications networks by the western computer/technology community, from Microsoft to individual hackers, have shown how effective cyberwarfare can be.
There are also signs of how effective a counterattack could be.
It is easy to think that we, meaning individuals in the middle of America and small institutions like First Education, will not be impacted. Odds are, that will be true.
However, it is not guaranteed. This is a new game, and we don’t know what the odds are.
We do know there aren’t any rules.
The sanctions placed on Russia, its citizens, and allies by the U.S. and other western countries have been effective. Now, they are not only looking for a way to get money but also revenge. They do not care how large or small a business is or how much money an individual has; if they see a weakness, they will seize it.
What you can do to protect yourself from a cyber attack
- Be extra careful about clicking on links or downloading files in your email. If you have any doubt (at all) about an email or website, ask someone. Google the subject or sender. If you don’t know that person or have no reason to have gotten the email in question, just delete it.
- If you have any suspicion your computer has been infected or compromised in any way, immediately unplug it from the network. To this, look for the cord that looks like a fat phone line. Unplug that cord from either your computer or the wall, whichever is easier, but DO NOT turn off your computer or unplug the power. If you use Wi-Fi, turn off your modem.
We must also remember that, no matter how devastating ID theft and fraud can be, the issues the people of Ukraine are now facing are inconceivable. The events there have shown us there are people willing to fight for freedom and that politicians can be heroes.
If you’re looking for a way to support relief efforts in Ukraine, I recommend visiting doglobalgood.org or texting CUS4UKRAINE to 44-321.
Glory to Ukraine. Glory to Heroes. Слава Україні! Героям Слава!
First Education President