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Beware of Hackers, Scammers during Hurricane Florence

Many cyber criminals will use times of natural disaster to take advantage of storm victims and unsuspecting people. Criminals will try to send emails or cal and solicit personal information, according to NC State Chief Information Officer Eric Boyette and NC State Chief Risk Officer Maria Thompson.

They offer some tips to keep your information safe during Hurricane Florence and afterwards.

*Carefully look at email and web addresses since cyber criminals will make them look as legitimate as possible, often using variations of spellings. The URL may have a different domain, such as .gov instead of .net.

*Do not click on links in emails from anyone unless you know and have verified the sender of the email.

*Take time to look at the sender’s email address. Do not click on any links until you are certain the organization is real. Check the organization’s website for its contact information and use sites such as to verify a charity organization.

*Make sure your all of your anti-virus software is up to date and you’ve enacted the anti-phishing software provided by your email client.

*Phishing emails and phone calls may also try to pose as official disaster aid organizations such as FEMA. A true FEMA representative will never ask personal banking information, Social Security number, or registration number.

“We all need to be mindful of the value the data we have and use every day,” said Eric Boyette, State Chief Information Officer and Secretary of the Department of Information Technology. “Too many people are vulnerable during natural disasters and it is imperative to take necessary precautions to protect yourself. Think of it as preparing an emergency kit for your personal data.”

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