Gov. Cooper urges caution online following Homeland Security warning of possible retaliation

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper urged businesses and government agencies to stay vigilant against cyberthreats in a statement Tuesday.

Cooper's office said the statement follows a warning Saturday from the United States Department of Homeland Security about "possible retaliation, though there is no specific, credible threat right now."

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According to Cooper's office, businesses and government agencies are generally more at risk for ransomware attacks and phishing emails.

"The best way we can keep our state's cyber systems safe and help prevent crippling attacks is to pay attention," Cooper said in the written statement. "When in doubt, do not click. Cybercriminals have many reasons for trying to beat our systems, and I encourage everyone to do their part and be sure they understand online security practices."

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Cooper's office released the following tips to protect your information:
  • Be suspicious of unsolicited emails, including requests for donations or information about your family members.
  • If an email from someone you know looks funny, follow up with that person by phone or in person.
  • Pay attention to web and email addresses, since malicious sites could use an alternate spelling or domain. Avoid websites until you can confirm they are legitimate.
  • Avoid sending sensitive personal information or passwords in email unless you use encryption.
  • Make sure your computer and mobile devices are running the latest operating systems and anti-virus software.
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