Why You Should Think Twice Before You Click on That Link


In response to data breaches at the Office of Personnel Management and other agencies, the Office of National Intelligence this week rolled out the first in a series of public awareness communications aimed at teaching computer users to protect their information and defend against identity theft.

“There have been 500 known breaches in recent years affecting 47 percent of adult Americans,” Bill Evanina, the National Counterintelligence Executive, said as he unveiled sample videos of the campaign on Wednesday at a summit sponsored by AFCEA International and the nonprofit Intelligence and National Security Alliance.

In both the public and private sectors, “91 percent of the breaches in the past few years involved spear phishing,” Evanina said as he introduced the first in a series of four videos rolling out this fall. “Our adversaries do not use sophisticated techniques to compromise our data and people—it’s an email.”

The “comprehensive campaign” of videos, posters and table tents is aimed at teaching employees of all federal agencies, their contractors and their families “to not click on a link,” that, on closer examination via a hovering mouse, can be shown to not come from the source with which it is labeled. Avoiding a spear-phishing approach “may save some massive data breach in the future, he said.

 Coming themes for the campaign include “social media deception,”  “human targeting,” and “travel awareness.”

“Cyber hygiene,” is vital to the global economy, Evanina said. “The Internet is not going away.” 

(Image via Pressmaster/Shutterstock.com)

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