AP NEWS

How Wake County protects your personal information from hackers

April 8, 2019

The hacking of personal information is a problem sweeping across local communities, and Wake County government leaders are taking action to make sure residents’ personal details in their files are protected.

Wake County’s computer system has background on 1.2 million residents -- and officials say it only takes one virus to compromise personal, private information like name, date of birth and social security number.

A report from Wake County shows that at least five North Carolina agencies have recently needed to crack a code or, in some cases, pay up in order to protect that information.

Last month, hackers caused Orange County to shut down its computer network. It disrupted the process of issuing marriage licenses and collecting payments and left library computers in the dark.

In 2017, a hacker accessed private files in Mecklenburg County and demanded $23,000 for an encryption key to release them.

All Wake County employees take part in ransonware training on a regular basis, according to officials, but the public can also help by not clicking on random links when using public computers.