Women in Cybersecurity – Connecting to Women

Women in Cybersecurity

By Laura Baker, Executive Director, CyberWyoming

Last week I had the pleasure of running the Empower to Secure workshop at the Connect2Women pre-conference.  In this workshop, we started an author and two nonprofit organizations down the road of managing their security risks.  

The program starts by analyzing their mission statements, and that is where I was truly touched by the women attending the workshop.  The passion, dedication and sense of community was unsurpassed, or so I thought.

Then, I attended the actual Connect2Women conference and learned new tech tips from a retired computer science teacher that I can use everyday at work.  (Just because we know cyber risk management doesn’t mean we have all the answers!  Google is our friend!)

I learned what a moral injury was and then thought about scam victims that have called me throughout the state and, yes, it fit the definition perfectly.

A moral injury is the social, psychological, and spiritual harm that arises from a betrayal of one’s core values, such as justice, fairness, and loyalty.  (Psychology Today)  

Wikipedia adds it produces profound feelings of guilt or shame, moral disorientation, and societal alienation.

The keywords here are psychological, harm,  betrayal, shame, and societal alientation.

Victims are scared, ashamed that they ‘fell for the scam’, feel betrayed, and don’t tell anyone about it.  But you know what? Wyomingites reported losses of almost $18 million in 2022 and when you think about the fact that most people don’t know to report their losses to the FBI, that’s a low number. But it is over $31 for every man, woman, and child in our state.

Connect2Women’s conference was an honest, direct discussion and I think it is time for Wyomingites to discuss the scams we experience in the open.  Yes, you may feel vulnerable, but you also may help your neighbor and will feel better telling someone about it.  

So, what do you do if you are a victim of a scam? 
1. Call local law enforcement 
2. Tell your bank or financial institution and put a fraud alert on your accounts
3. Report it to ic3.gov
4. Call Wyoming’s local FBI and/or Secret Service office, especially if you lost a lot of money.
5. Sign up for AARP’s ReST program to talk to other victims.  Any age is welcome.

Connect2Women talked about taking action.  Get even with the hackers and be vocal.  Don’t let them take away your voice!

And get our weekly Hacker’s Brief where Wyomingites report scams they’ve seen to protect their friends, family, and neighbors!

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