District Cybersecurity Awareness

Justin Czech   -  

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and we want to remind all of our members to be on alert against possible threats and scams. Whether it’s online, over the phone, or by email, scammers may attempt to steal everything from personal information to money. In some of these situations, criminals may even try to pose as a our district superintendent, pastor, or family member.

Here are a few quick tips to protect yourself from cyber-attacks and other scams:

  • Use strong passwords. Ideally, your password should be a “passphrase” that uses a series of random words strung together. This passphrase should not include easily guessable information, like your name, your children’s names, your company name, or important dates like your birthday. Do not reuse passwords across personal accounts and work accounts, or across third party services. You should also never share your password with anyone!
  • Enable multi-factor authentication. Whether for work or personal accounts, always enable multi-factor authentication when possible. Multi-factor authentication requires you to provide two or more verification factors to login. For example, you may input your password and input a code that is sent to you in a text or email.
  • Be careful with internet or software downloads. Only install authorized software, and always apply security updates when they are available. Only download software from reputable sources. If you don’t know the source or it looks suspicious, don’t risk it!
  • Do not open or click on suspicious emails. “Phishing” emails attempt to get you to click on a harmful link or attachment, download malicious software, or collect personal information. Keep an eye out for anything suspicious with email, including:
    • An unusual tone or greeting
    • Grammar or spelling errors
    • Email addresses or web links that don’t match, or that are different than company the sender works for
    • Any sort of threat or sense of urgency
    • Suspicious attachments or unusual file types
  •  If you receive an email from someone claiming to be from the district office and you’re worried it might be a scam, delete the email right away and give us a call at 724-287-5867
  • We will never ask you for a gift card. Pastor Dan, or anyone else from the district office will never demand that you pay your district allocations with gift card. Likewise, we will never solicit donations on behalf of another church, or church member asking for gift cards. Scammers will often instruct customers to go to a specific store and purchase gift cards to make payment.

And remember…when in doubt, don’t give info out!