NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) —Today’s computer systems provide critical functionality and services to energy networks, transportation, health care, and manufacturing infrastructure.

But cyber attacks can dismantle even the largest companies.

KX News met with Information Security Specialist, Travis Weightman to discuss the life hacks to keep you from being hacked.

Cyber security is an immense priority in today’s technology-dependent world.

Threats make it essential to have skilled individuals that can protect mission-critical infrastructure, defense technologies, and other vital systems from attacks.

Since 2004, the President of the United States and Congress have declared October to be Cybersecurity Awareness Month, helping individuals protect themselves online as threats to technology and confidential data become more commonplace.

“Cyber security has been one of those things that have been behind technology unfortunately because the technology moves so fast it’s hard to stay safe and it’s implemented in our lives and so many things from TVs computers your watches these days, cell phones. All of these things are part of everybody’s everyday life now,” said Weightman.

But how can you beat the hackers to avoid being hacked?

“Password-protected don’t use the same password over and over again. We’ve shifted to a lot of things such as past phrases instead of passwords so I use full sentences. My passwords are around 20 to 25 characters long so it expands would be called brute force, and brute forcing is basically password guessing and if you use long press phrases it limits the ability for someone to brute force your password, and another thing is phishing, phishing, it’s actually one of the number one reasons why people get breached, companies get breached is through phishing emails. What they try to do is social engineer you into clicking on a link that downloads a virus so that they can get inside the company, they do that at home too and that’s where they try to steal your identity,” Weightman added.

Though the hacks seem easy and doable for most.

Here in North Dakota, we have a rep for what is called “North Dakota nice” which makes us even more susceptible to cyber scams.

So how can we remain ourselves but still stay on guard?

“I know North Dakota nice, I’ve been North Dakota nice I have learned that niceness is one of those things that can be easily taken advantage of, and the best way I’ve been able to tell people it’s just to not be you want to just blow everything off but, you want to keep that nice it’s trust but verify,” said Weightman.

Weightman says the best way to stay protected is to stay educated.

For sites to armor up on cyber security and more information visit their website.