Those of us that have not experienced identity theft are quickly becoming a minority. If you are one of the lucky few that hasn’t had your world turned upside down seemingly overnight, ask around. There is a good chance you know several people that are now or have been identity theft victims. With the way things are headed, becoming a victim of identity theft is not a matter of “if,” but when.
The webinar URL is:
The reality is that most of us have become insensitive to warnings about identity theft and other forms of cybercrime, despite how vulnerable we are. We are inundated daily with reports of credit card fraud, hacked bank accounts, theft of enormous amounts of personal information, and an assortment of other frauds and scams too numerous to keep track of.
Distilling and paraphrasing many of the comments we receive about this statement:
I’m a computer user but consider myself to be non-technical. I probably wouldn’t understand most of the webinar. Obviously, there are some smart computer gurus and law enforcement taking care of these things, right? There’s certainly no need for me to be worried. I mean, if my identity was going to be stolen, it would have happened already. Right?!
Well, there are some smart people that deal with identity theft and cybercrime daily and are working very hard to deal with and mitigate the problem, this is true. As far as the rest of the statement, above, Wrong.
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, cyber-criminals try to empty our bank accounts, steal our retirement, invade our privacy, weaken our national security, and obtain our business secrets. Cybercriminals, Nation States, and State Sponsored Cyber Criminals and Hackers have been developing computer viruses and other malware that put our physical safety at risk. The Internet of Things (IoT) has created opportunities for criminals to attack the very technologies that are integral parts of our daily lives, such as kitchen appliances, vehicles, home security systems, and medical equipment.
While the situation is unfortunate, we all need to educate ourselves about cybersecurity and cybercrime to some degree, which is why the webinar was created. Marginalized members of our communities and the most vulnerable – our elderly, are being targeted daily. Many do not have the ability or resources to proactively educate themselves on the cybercrime threat, so it is our job to do everything we can to help them. Combating this issue is going to take education, face-to-face communication, and regular webinars such as this one. Ignorance on the topic, for whatever reason, is not a tolerable line of defense.
The many topics that the webinar covers will include:
- How Do the Cybercriminals Get My Information?
- Removing Your Information From the Data Aggregators and Collectors That Have It (This is a service that some companies charge hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars to perform. You’ll be learning to do it for yourself at no cost)
- Proactive Measures to Take Now
- Types of Identity Theft Schemes, Including Financial, Insurance, Medical, and Business
- What to Do if You Become a Victim
- What Does the Dark Web Have to Do With It?
- A Tour of the Dark Web to Purchase Stolen Credit Cards
- Case Studies (Mike and Steve will be taking us through actual cybercrime and identity theft cases they have worked on)
If you want to know the straight scoop on identity theft and what all of us can do to help protect ourselves, our loved ones, and those in our communities, attend the Webinar. You’ll be hearing from two experts that aren’t going to pull any punches and are adverse to sugar coating.
ABOUT THE WEBINAR SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS
Steve Hailey and Mike Andrew have over forty years of cybersecurity and digital forensics experience between them. They have traveled the world teaching classes and consulting on cybersecurity and digital forensics matters for corporations, the military, law enforcement, and various branches of the judiciary. Both are Cyberterrorism Subject Matter Experts for Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency-sponsored programs and have been responsible for training professionals to protect some of the most aggressively targeted information systems in the world that reside within our nation’s critical infrastructure. They founded the Washington State High Technology Crime Investigation Association chapter and have served as officers on the Digital Forensics Certification Board.
They have helped hundreds of people deal with the aftermath of identity theft and have taught countless more how to avoid becoming victims. Both of them are tenured faculty members and are responsible for creating and teaching the Cyber Defense and Digital Forensics Programs at Edmonds College.
ABOUT THE EDMONDS CYBER DEFENSE PROGRAM
The Edmonds College Cyber Defense and Digital Forensics Program offers a distinct advantage over others. In addition to students having the benefit of Mike and Steve’s real-world experiences and knowledge, many are able to participate in actual security audits, penetration tests, and digital forensics examinations. This summer (2022), students assisted with a penetration test for a business in the healthcare sector. For fall quarter of 2022, students will be assisting with a criminal case that involves “cracking” high levels of encryption to access several USB or thumb drives.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
QUESTION: ISN’T THIS JUST MARKETING FOR EDMONDS COLLEGE?
Most of the webinar content (approximately three hours worth) is from a class developed by the two subject matter experts – Steve Hailey and Mike Andrew. The class was originally developed for an e-learning company that wanted to purchase it but it is now being used for these webinars instead. While some of the webinar attendees will become interested in the Edmonds College Cyber Defense Program, the main intent of offering the webinar to the public is to educate. Steve and Mike are no longer able to help all of those coming to them for assistance regarding identity theft and various scams – there are not enough hours in the day. They decided the most effective way they can contribute to the war against cybercrime is by providing education to the public at large and encouraging all of us to help educate those around us.
Additionally, as one of the cornerstones of higher education in our region, Edmonds College continuously seeks opportunities to improve the quality of our lives, the college, our community, and the world – it’s one of our values. A core theme of Edmonds College is Community Engagement.
QUESTION: IS THE WEBINAR CONTENT APPROPRIATE FOR MY TEENAGER?
Yes, the content is appropriate. We will not be covering any case studies or cybercrime examples that deal with pornography or violence.
QUESTION: I HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CYBER DEFENSE AND DIGITAL FORENSICS PROGRAM THAT I DID NOT WANT TO ASK DURING THE WEBINAR. IS THERE SOMEONE I CAN TALK TO?
Yes. You can send an email to CyberDefense@edmonds.edu and either Steve Hailey or Mike Andrew will get back to you. Also, there will be a follow-on Webinar to be held on September 19th at 6:00 pm for those that are interested specifically in the Cyber Defense and Digital Forensics programs. Other contacts for the Computer Information Systems Department that Steve and Mike are part of can be found here.
SOME INTERESTING FACTS…
By existing in today’s world, we generate records of our activities. Our information is recorded, placed in various databases, and then accessed and used by various entities we most likely don’t even now exist.
- Your location can be estimated and recorded by the cell towers that your mobile device communicates with. Your mobile device communicates with cell towers constantly, always looking for the strongest signal. You don’t need to be using your mobile device for this to happen, you just need to have it turned on.
- The picture you just uploaded to social media may contain the latitude and longitude of your location, or as some would say, your GPS coordinates.
- By using your loyalty card at the supermarket, your purchases were added to a database that may be sold and/or rented to multiple buyers who will then market their products to you based on what you purchased.
- Accessing your email account creates multiple records, including your computer or device’s IP address, and how much time you spent online.
- Data that feels private to you isn’t, and can likely be found in hundreds or thousands of public records. Accessing those public records is easy and legal. Giving away or selling access to information gathered about you from public records is also easy and legal.