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Keeping yourself safe from cyber spies

By John Craven, Reporter, JCraven@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 05 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 06 2013 04:36:31 AM CST

Keeping yourself safe from cyber spies

When you're at work, could your co-workers be spying on you? That's the question now that a former local school official is being investigated for allegedly snooping on his bosses and others.

According to experts, cases of co-workers cyber hacking each other are on the rise -- and it's not just your computer putting you at risk.

We live our lives in a virtual world now: a maze of computers, tablets, and smart phones.

"I think all of us would like to think we can trust the environment we work in," said Det. Joe Pochron with Lehigh County's Digital Forensics Lab. "We see more and more instances in the news regarding hacking and intrusions."

The latest case involves Tom Drago, who recently resigned as information technology head for Easton Area schools. Drago is not criminally charged, but investigators seized several computers.

He's being investigated for possibly accessing co-workers' computers hundreds of times, using a web cam to take partially nude pictures of a district employee, and perhaps copying documents with student information.

"It's not right; shouldn't happen," said Easton High School sophomore Mike Daley. "[But] I tend to not put too much information on the school computers."

Pochron said spying software is easy to find online, so you should be just as vigilant with your work computer as your home one.

"Utilize anti-virus, be careful on websites you visit or malicious links that may be sent to you," he said.

Pochron said to be especially careful of using smartphones and tablets for work. They are emerging technologies that can pose serious hacking risks. He urged employees to password-encrypt vital information, because phones can be a treasure trove of personal data.

"We carry these devices on us the majority of the time, so it really gives us a lot of insight into that individual," he said.

According to Pochron, it can sometimes take months to pore through the millions of files on a computer hard drive and build a cyber crime case.