Cyber crimes are increasing. Here’s how to protect yourself

Local News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Cyber crimes are on the rise in Siouxland. The Identity Theft Resource Center reports over 1,000 data breaches have occured so far this year. That number is more than all of 2020, and 2021 is on track for the most data breaches in a single year.

Tasha Barker is the director of IT and software at Thompson Electric. She says cyber crimes get more complex every year.

“It used to be that an attack would be very immediate and now they’re not,” Barker said. “Now they will actually put tools and things in place and they’ll lay dormant for awhile. They’ll watch businesses to see how things are progressing.”

Companies who fall victim to an attack usually can’t recover from the damage, Barker says.

“Their ability to survive an attack like that, usually they don’t exist after two years,” Barker says.

Sergeant Jeremy McClure with the Sioux City Police Department says cyber criminals are difficult to track down.

“Sometimes these cases kind of end up being dead end cases unfortunately because some of these suspects that are perpetrating these are overseas and there’s not a lot that we can do,” McClure said.

Colt Witt is an instructor for cyber security and digital crime at Western Iowa Tech Community College. He says hacking has grown from just a malicious act to a full industry.

“They’ve definitely gotten different over the years because it’s gone from not being so much about just trying to do damage, but it’s more about becoming a business industry,” Witt said. “People make money hacking now.”

Witt says people can try to protect themselves by keeping their software up to date, changing their passwords, or installing antivirus software on their computers.

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