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Cyberattacks: Who's susceptible?

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Posted at 9:05 PM, Jul 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-25 22:05:49-04

LAFAYETTE — An emergency declaration is in effect in Louisiana after several school systems were hacked.

The schools affected were in the northern part of the state, but cyber security is a concern for all schools, including Lafayette.

Earlier this week, the Lafayette Parish School System's website was hacked in a separate incident, but administrators say the LPSS website doesn't store sensitive information, so there wasn't a major compromise.

Still, in light of the cyberattacks across the state, Lafayette school administrators are taking precautions.

"We're insuring the integrity of our backups every day, making sure that when we back everything up that it's all recoverable the next day," said LPSS Chief Administrative Officer Jennifer Gardner. "So, we're taking a huge proactive approach just in case the possibility is there."

A school system is attacked the same way one person is hacked.

"Organizations are typically hacked via attacks on individuals: the same sort of attacks via phonied up emails and faked documents," explained IT consultant Michael Smith.

School system employees are especially at risk if someone is trying to gain access to the entire system.

"[We remind our employees] to be very diligent about opening an email, making sure that you know who it's from," said Gardner.

People commonly use the same password for all of their accounts, but, according to Smith, that makes you susceptible to hacking .

"They will then try it everywhere. If they get your Facebook login, they're going to try it on Twitter, on LinkedIn, on Home Bank," said Smith.

Staying up to date with your computer software is another way to stay safe.

"While you don't have to be paranoid, a good dose of suspicion is never out of place," said Smith.

The Lafayette Parish School System is also reminding parents that they would never send an email, requesting personal information, like a social security number. If you ever receive a request like that, immediately call the school.