At your electric cooperative, we take security seriously

George Carter

You may not think of our little cooperative as a computer hacker’s dream target, but you’d be wrong. Computer hackers from around the world try to hack our computers daily. We must be on guard at every moment to ensure our computer systems are as secure as possible. No system can be totally secure and ours is no different, but we take every precaution to ensure security.

Today, it’s not just financial or personal records hackers are looking for; hacking into an electric utility is a major prize. Grid interruption is a major target for terrorists around the world, due to the havoc it can wreak on many lives.

Our cooperative recognizes these threats and is diligent in protecting our systems. As I said, there is no way to ensure complete protection, but there are industry best practices we follow. From advanced monitoring systems to firewall and special software to identify intrusion, we employ many systems to protect ourselves.

We also look to protect you, our members. Our high-tech software contains personal and financial information because members provide bank or credit card information when paying bills. You expect us to use the utmost care in protecting your information. That is why we strive to meet Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards for compliance.

To meet these standards, we will begin using a secure payment system for members paying bills via the telephone. This new system will allow members to call a secure toll-free number to process their payment. This new system will help protect your financial information.

In addition to this new secure payment line, we have installed new credit/debit card machines at our office for the new “chip” in most major credit cards. Again, these new credit card readers provide a higher level of security for your financial information.

The cooperative offers many online payment options through our secure network to allow you to control your payments. You can enroll in many of these plans through our SmartHub application.

Cyber security is a major concern for all of us today. Although we can’t be 100 percent protected all the time, please be assured your cooperative is working hard to protect your financial and personal information, as well as the systems that provide service to your homes and businesses.

President and CEO