October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and we’re recognizing it by sharing the top six tips our Black Hills Energy cyber gurus emphasize with their own families at home.
- Do not give out private information. Beware of unsolicited phone calls, emails, or even visits from someone saying they’re with one of your utility or other trusted service providers. Don’t give out information like account information, social security number, credit card numbers or bank account information. And don’t feel rude questioning the identity of someone claiming to represent a company. To verify if someone is who he says he is, don’t use any of the phone numbers he might provide. Instead, look up contact information for the company he’s claiming to represent, and call to verify.
- If you connect it, protect it. Whether it’s your computer, smartphone, game device, or other network devices, make sure the operating system, anti-virus and web browser software are up to date. Change the default passwords on any network connected device you install. Never plug in an unknown USB drive that you find laying in the parking lot or receive in the mail. It’s highly likely to be part of a scam. Finally, be sure to periodically back up any data that cannot be recreated such as photos or personal documents.
- Secure your Wi-Fi network. Your home’s wireless router is the primary entrance for cybercriminals to access all of your connected devices. Secure your Wi-Fi network and your digital devices by changing the factory-set default password and username.
- Double your login protection. Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) on any application you can to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you. Use it for email, banking, social media, and any other service that requires logging in.
- Keep tabs on your apps. Most connected appliances, toys and devices are supported by a mobile application. Your mobile device could be filled with suspicious apps running in the background or using default permissions you never realized you approved, which means they could be gathering your personal information without your knowledge while also putting your identity and privacy at risk. Make sure you only download apps from trusted vendors and sources.
- Think before you click. Scams are on the rise as scammers try to take advantage of people’s heightened anxiety during the pandemic. Many COVID-19 scams take the form of emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes.
Black Hills Energy Blog
With a couple months of winter still ahead of us, we want to help make sure you’re ready for whatever the rest of the season may bring. Sure, we hope the highlights of the next few months are big mugs of hot chocolate, cozy nights with loved ones, and maybe even the opportunity to enjoy some…
It’s dark and cold outside, but home is where you can find light and warmth. No matter what the day held – deadlines, shopping, shoveling the snow – here, the holiday spirit lives. Whether you’re curling up at the end of the day to read a good book, finish a puzzle, or watch a holiday movie (we…
Cooking for the holidays is about more than sugar cravings. It’s passing along family traditions, singing holiday tunes between batches, and delivering fresh-baked cheer to friends and neighbors. Whether this is your first time hosting, or you’re a pro with the butter-stained recipe cards to prove…
Halloween marks the unofficial start to the holiday season – a time when our homes are filled with loved ones, and the warmth of our living rooms brings people together as the temperatures outside dip. Now is a good time to make sure your furnace is ready to keep your home comfy and cozy in the…
For us, safety isn’t numbers
It’s not statistics. It isn’t dollar signs, and it’s not about campaigns. Safety is people. We've set a goal to be the safest energy company in the country. But we didn’t set that goal so we could check a box on a to-do list or show PowerPoint slides with charts featuring lots of down arrows. We did it so that everyone - including you - can go home safely. Every day.
Supporting your day-to-day is our everyday
In addition to your account and billing notifications, we’ve created valuable new email communications. Sign up and you’ll receive the latest content on everything from energy efficiency, and seasonal safety to appliance repair. Plus, read stories featuring your local community, and be in-the-know on service-related weather updates.