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April 24, 2018 05:00 PM

Following Mayoral Candidate's Allegations, Expert Talks Hacking Trends

Sioux Falls, SD

Is computer hacking now a part of politics? Sioux Falls mayoral candidate Jolene Loetscher's campaign claims someone hacked into its information technology systems. The Minnehaha County Sheriff's Office and South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation are looking into the allegations. We talked with a local expert about why we're seeing this kind of trend during campaigns, both big and small. 

If you've seen any spy movie, you probably think a hacker needs to be a computer genius. That's not the case.

"In today's world, as easy as it is, social media; everybody has a computer, everybody has a mobile device. Whether you're talking you left your device logged in; we're viewing that as hacking," Jake VanDewater, Director of Network Communications for SDN Communications, said.

VanDewater isn't directly commenting on the Sioux Falls mayoral election, but isn't surprised by the allegations. 

"It's easy to do. It creates a disruption and the convenience factor of it. You don't have to be an expert to create that impact," VanDewater said. 

It's becoming more common and doesn't just include large scale cases like data breaches at major stores and companies and the 2016 presidential election. If the mayoral allegations are true, VanDewater says it would show hacking is also a very local threat. 

"There's best practices to be implemented to minimize, but with the human factor involved, it's pretty difficult to avoid," VanDewater said.

To protect yourself, VanDewater says you need to pay attention and be smart about what you do online. 

"We need to make sure we protect our information, items, when we're browsing online or doing business online. We're understanding where our information is going," VanDewater said. 

Click to review recommendations to protect yourself online.




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