Discussing cybersecurity: BCMH hosting ‘Lunch and Learn’

L’ANSE — Baraga County Memorial Hospital (BCMH) will host a cybersecurity luncheon seminar Thursday.

The “Lunch and Learn” series is hosted by BCMH hosts on every third Thursday of the month, offering different topics each month.

January’s seminar will be from noon to 1 p.m at the hospital, located in L’Anse at 18341 US Highway 41.

Each lunch and learn consists of a topic based on health or safety and usually has about 20 to 30 participants, said Pam Dove, a registered dietitian nutritionist.

The cost for the seminars is $5, which includes the lunch.

The theme this month is “Keep Yourself Safe.” The program will be led by Taylor Makela, BCMH information technology (IT) manager.

He will be providing an overview of security threats, such as phone scams, identity theft, ransomware and other online tasks.

“It will be a good, high-level discussion to be able to give to the community,” said Makela.

Makela has worked in IT for over 15 years, with 10 of those being at BCMH. He also teaches an IT class at the Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College.

He said he has been wanting to do this presentation for a while.

“There’s been a lot of interest from the community, especially from the elderly,” Makela said.

This is a good time for this topice because there has been “a lot of security-related issues happening. Especially with Equifax leaking Social Security numbers last summer,” Makela said.

“It seems like they (phone scams) have gotten higher and more frequent over the holidays,” Dove said.

“Quite a few residents have been hit with computer scams,” Makela said. “I’ve heard of several people who have actually called and paid $800-$900.”

He believes people are fairly trusting and scammers are “targeting people who are fairly new to computers.”

Some of the most popular are phishing scams and emails. Makela wants people to be able to identify false URLs and web addresses.

He will also be discussing how hospitals are being targeted with viruses. “I want to discuss what the hospital is doing to protect their information,” Makela said.

He hopes to hold more of these informational sessions because an hour is a short time frame to delve into such complex issues.

However, he hopes people leave with the knowledge to navigate and identify the small things that might lead to being scammed.

Dove said “I hope that people take away ideas to implement so they have improved health and safety.”

Those interested should call 906-524-3322 to register.