BOISE - In the wake of the Equifax breach, cybersecurity is on the minds of people across the country.
Hackers got access to names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, address and some driver's license information belonging to an estimated 143 million Americans.
This day and age, most people do everything online like banking and paying bills, meaning more of your sensitive information is out there.
"It's a new world. And it just happened incrementally, a little bit at a time, as technology made it a way for these companies to be more efficient," Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little said. "It's a higher risk of what we had in the old days, that's for sure."
The state has data on citizens hackers want like your Social Security number and driver's license information. Knowing that, state officials have made cybersecurity a top priority for years. In July 2015, Gov. Butch Otter created a Cybersecurity Task Force, led by Lt. Gov. Brad Little, to find ways to beef up the state’s cybersecurity practices.
"We want Idaho to be a place where you can use modern commerce and still be protected," Little said.
One of the recommendation from this task force was to create a new cabinet position: the director of information security. This past January, Gov. Otter signed an executive order to appoint someone to that position.
"My job day-to-day is policy number one,” Jeff Weak, director of information security, said. “Making sure that we're that we have the right processes and procedures in place to deal with cybersecurity, make sure we have a good plan of action of how we're patched and make sure that our systems are up to date."
In addition to making sure any personal data the state has isn’t vulnerable or compromised, they want to educate Idahoans on how to protect themselves.
"Making sure that you're changing your password all the time. Making sure that it's a [strong] password so it's not just 'admin 123' [or] 'password,’ and then monitoring all of your credit card statements, bank statements, make sure that everything you have is accounted for," Weak said.
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