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Posted on Sat, Nov 10, 2012 : 12:35 p.m.

Free cyber-safety class aimed at businesses of all sizes

By Lisa Carolin

Any business no matter what size is at risk of cyber crime. That's according to WC4, the Washtenaw County Cyber Citizenship Coalition, which is hosting a free class Monday, Nov. 12, about protecting businesses from cyber attacks.

Participants will learn what it looks like to get hacked and what to do to make your computers and data less of a target.

"The No. 1 security risk is your own people," said Noël Quiton, co-chair of WC4.


Business owners can get tips on cyber safety at a free class Monday.

Quiton tells the story of a local business owner who relied on an employee to run the website and do the bookkeeping.

"The owner fired the employee and changed the lock on the front door, but didn't change the employee's password, " said Quiton. "The employee then locked the owner out of her own system."

Quiton also cites a recent scam in which local business owners were sent emails that looked like they were from their banks.

"It's what's called a spoof email," said Quiton. "The business owners were told to change their passwords because there was a breach. But they were giving their usernames and passwords to the bad guys."

Quiton says that another topic the class addresses is when and where to access certain websites.

She says, "If you log in on a Wi-Fi network at Starbucks, for example, it's not a good idea to go to your bank's website there because it's simple to collect data over Wi-Fi networks."

The class is called "Cyber Security for Business 101" and is taught by cyber security professionals Joe Eastman, adjunct faculty at Eastern Michigan University, and Jeff Haller, a consultant for Information Assurance. The class begins at 9 a.m. Monday at the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce, 115 W. Huron on the third floor. Parking is available at First and Huron Streets.

To register for the class, go to

WC4, which includes prosecutors, law enforcement officials and a variety of other members, has the goal to educate people about cybercrime and teach them to protect themselves. WC4 been has been contacted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to get ideas about how to teach cyber safety.

Lisa Carolin is a freelance reporter for


Larry Works

Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 6:04 p.m.

I took this class yesterday. Exceeded my expectations. Information was presented in a manner anyone can understand. They demonstrated the risks, shared simple yet effective solutions to making my business more secure and clearly answered all of our questions. In particular, they shared the fact that ALL wireless devices (ie. smartphones, tablets, laptops, bluetooth) are particularly vulnerable and desirable targets. Because many of us rely on them daily to in our businesses learning how to manage the risk is a good way to protect yourself and your customers information. I was able to take what I learned in the morning and share it in the afternoon with a local non-profit. Effectively helping them to make their customer data more secure and closing an open wireless access point they didn't even know was operational! If you don't know WHY 9-character passwords are better than 8, WHY PCIDSS compliance is important BEFORE you swipe a customers credit card in that FREE CARD READER on your smartphone. IF you don't know how EASILY credit card information can be stolen right out of your wallet or purse then do your business a favor and take a couple hours to learn how to manage the risks and protect both you and your customers data from the unthinkable. The price is right...FREE! Thanks WC4. PS. Even for those of us with a strong IT background, getting a quick CyberSecurity refresher is a good idea.