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Cyber security expert speaks to Tea Party
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CUMMING -- There are inherent risks to using computers, especially when purchasing online, but one political group took measures to keep members safe.

During a meeting on Monday, members of the United Tea Party of Georgia heard a presentation from Jay Ryerse of CARVIR Cyber Security, who said there is a very simple reason for hackers to steal information.
“It’s a business, and it’s 100 percent business,” Ryerse said. “These people are making a lot of money. There was an attack starting 2013 … in the first three weeks that it was out there made $27 million.”

He said hackers can earn a decent amount just from simple information.

“From a hacker’s perspective, every time they get your name, address, date of birth, telephone number and email address, that one batch of information is worth $201,” Ryerse said.

He said though there are risks, there are also ways to minimize it.

“If you are able to have a computer for online banking, try not to use that computer for everything else you do online,” Ryerse said.

To further limit bank fraud, Ryerse said residents could contact their bank to require an in-person signature for wire transfers, as many hackers are overseas.

Ryerse also recommended using incorrect information when signing up for anything online, as common answers like birthdays, former schools and mothers’ maiden names can be easily researched.

“I’ve taught my kids to pick those questions and make fake answers. Your mother’s maiden name is now Jones. It’s not Jones, but it’s always Jones from now on,” he said. “I tell my kids to just reverse their high school and middle school, something that is quick to remember.”

He said that the easiest way for hackers to get information is through human error, which hackers could exploit, and recommended making sure that anyone receiving personal information is who they say they are.

The United Tea Party of Georgia meets monthly at the VFW Post 9173 at 1045 Dahlonega Hwy.