Flippin' the Switch

Episode Six - Co-op Month, #WhoPowersYou Winner, and Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October 10, 2019 Jones-Onslow EMC Season 1 Episode 6
Flippin' the Switch
Episode Six - Co-op Month, #WhoPowersYou Winner, and Cybersecurity Awareness Month
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Run Time:
45 minutes

Topics discussed in this episode: 
We sit down with North Carolina Electric Cooperative's Kristie Aldridge to talk about National Co-op Month and what it means to be a part of a cooperative. We visit with Jones County native Mary Ann LeRay who was recently recognized for her commitment to the community by Touchstone Energy in their #WhoPowersYou Contest. Finally, we talk National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and steps JOEMC takes to secure member data and personal information with the co-op's Andy Shepard.

Speaker 1:

[inaudible] [inaudible]

Speaker 2:

welcome listeners to the laced episode or flipping the switch up podcast brought to you by the folks at Jenny's Oslo , B and C. this is Steve Goodson and I'm your host and I'll be with you each month. I'll be sharing things about the co op and what we're doing in the community energy efficiency tips that you can use around the home. Cool things that we're doing to assist our members to enhance customer service and much more. So with that said, let's start flipping the switch. So October is here and most folks think of the great fall weather's coming. Folks think about Halloween and there's a few things that are already actually thinking about starting their Christmas shopping and Christmas. Well around our office we look forward, talked over because it's national co-op month and we get to celebrate the cooperative business model and we get to continue to educate our members about who we are, what we do and how they play a vital part of that. So I am just excited today to talk to Chrissy Audrey . She's on my really good friends about co-op month and Kristy is the director of strategic communications for North Carolina's electric cooperative . So Kristy , thank you for joining me.

Speaker 3:

Thank you for having me.

Speaker 2:

So before we get all into the co op month, tell our listeners exactly who North Carolina allayed your cooperators is. Uh , exactly what you guys do.

Speaker 3:

Okay, that's a great question. And it's a question that has kind of a complex answer because we operate under the brand of North Carolina's electric cooperatives, but we're really three organizations rolled into that one brand. So I'll tell you about those three real quick. First of all, we are what's called a generation and transmission cooperative and we call that a G and T for short. So what that means is that we provide the wholesale electricity to many of the state's electric cooperatives, including Jones , Onslow. So that's one primary role. The other is that we are the trade association representing all 26 of North Carolina's electric cooperatives. And that means that we pro provide trade association services like legislative support. We published Carolina country magazine and we even have a safety group that makes sure that co-ops , um, line workers are following certain safety standards. So that's two out of three. The third one is we have a material supply organization called Tema and Tema if you can think of all of the parts that go into the electric system, poles, wires, nuts, bolts, and even newer things like , um , electric vehicle charging stations. Tema has a warehouse where they keep all of those materials and they ship them to the co ops , uh, when the co ops need them to upgrade or maintain their systems. So that's who we are.

Speaker 2:

And our role in that was kind of neat about that is that there's, there's 26 electric co-ops in the state now, not all of them are of all, all the associations, but just like Joan's Onslow has its members that we provide electric service to North Carolina electric cooperatives, the electric cooperators in North Carolina or members of these organizations. So it's the cooperative form of business.

Speaker 3:

That's right. So we don't have members at the end of the line as our members, like you do a cause Jones, Onslow and the other 25 electric cooperatives in the state are called distribution cooperatives. So we send the electricity, the wholesale electricity to them and then they bring it to you , um, to the members that you serve.

Speaker 2:

Awesome. So let's talk about the cooperative business model. So tell listeners exactly what that means and why that's important to them as members of Jones Onslow of whatever electric cooperative.

Speaker 3:

Sure. And this is really the part that makes me proud, immensely proud to get up and come to work every day. It's this business model that makes cooperative's unique. So really it's different because in all co-ops, not just electric cooperatives but all forms of co-ops, they are owned by the people who purchase the goods and services from that co op. So that means that the people at the end of the line for Jones, Onslow , EMC are actually owners of the co op. And you have a voice in how the business is run because you get to elect a board of directors to represent you. And that's really the cooperative difference is that we're owned and governed by the people that we serve. And um , those people have a voice in a vote.

Speaker 2:

If you receive a luxury service from us, then like I said, you're a member of Jones ons live and you're a vital part of what we do every day, every week, every month and during the year. And we may not have a lot of interaction with our members unless they call in or less. We're posting things on social media unless we're communicating with them out in the field by doing some work. We, you know, one of the things that distinguishes us and our former businesses that we have an annual meeting every year. Ours is in March and members are invited to come and listen to how the co ops doing. We , uh , provide food. We , uh , provide , uh, entertainment and we provide just a , just information about how the co op is doing on an annual basis. So , uh , listeners, if you didn't know if you received electric service from us, you're a member of the co op, but I hope you knew that. So 26 electric cooperatives in North Carolina. How many are there actually across the country? Electric cooperatives now

Speaker 3:

electric cooperatives. Okay, well I'm going to ad lib one thing here, which is, yes, there are 26 in North Carolina and we serve total 45% of the land mass of North Carolina. Um , so that's a pretty cool thing. Uh , across the nation there are more than 900 electric cooperative

Speaker 2:

and that's just the electric cooperatives. Oh , electric cooperatives. So let's talk about this. Let's tell folks, you're probably go when you go to, and I'll just use this maybe the grocery store or when you're going through your daily interaction. Uh , depending on where you live, you could very well be visiting a co op and purchasing goods and services or products or whatever from a co op because the co op business model is not just designated or is just not an electric cooperative thing . Talk about some other businesses in our country that are, that operate in the electric cooperative business model.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, this is fun because before I started working for the electric cooperatives many moons ago , um, I didn't know that some of my favorite brands or I know , I didn't know. And now I'm proud to , um, support these co ops by purchasing their goods. Uh , a favorite of mine is Cabot cheese. Cabbage cheese is a cooperative. Um , and I have no problem supporting that business. Um, no, definitely not. Definitely not. Um, even if I were, I'd still go after that cheese and some others are land of lakes butter, which I didn't know. And then one pretty famous one is REI, the outdoor equipment and camping gear , uh , company. And I think there's a lot of people, including my husband who keep that store, that co op run in a couple of others that I think are pretty familiar would be ACE hardware , um , blue diamond almonds, farm Bureau insurance, and then also many of the of the credit unions. The banks are also cooperatives.

Speaker 2:

So no matter if you're co-op is providing electricity, outdoor equipment like we talked to REI insurance, food products , uh, hammers and nails, ACE hardware, all the co ops, we adhere to what we call seven cooperative principles. And these are really the things that distinguish us and I use us in the form of cooperatives from other business model . So I know you've got a memorized.

Speaker 3:

That's right. You know me,

Speaker 2:

I know you and you, if you didn't have a memorize before last night, you stayed up all last night doing that .

Speaker 3:

Dang , that's great.

Speaker 2:

So just real, real briefly, just touch on the seven cooperative principles that make us so unique and just a great business model.

Speaker 3:

Sure. And these are like Steve said, these are what guide the way that we do business and we adhere to these in everything that we do. So I'll rattle them off here. The first one is voluntary and open membership, then democratic member control, which we talked about earlier because the members get to vote for the board of directors and members, economic participation. So that's again, buying the goods and services, autonomy and independence. And so what this means is there are 26 electric cooperatives in North Carolina and although they are all guided by these same seven cooperative principles, they're independent. And so their local boards of directors make decisions based on what's best for the community that they serve, education, training and information. And this is near and dear to Steve and me as, as communicators, I'm providing members with the information that they need , uh, to stay informed about the cooperative business and make decisions. Cooperation among cooperatives were really unique, Steve, because we're not competitors with each other. No. We support each other. I could call it a co op in Missouri today to ask him a question and they'd want to give me the answer.

Speaker 2:

And the big thing, I want to chime in there. Folks that are listening, you've experienced this over the last year. So if you realize it or not with the past hurricane and w and weather situations that we've experienced here on the coast during Florence, we had some co-ops from North Carolina as well as other States come in and help us, you know, restore power. Not so much a month or so ago, we did have a co op from Tennessee that came in for, you know, for the day and help and much the same way, if there's a bad ice storm or a S or a snowstorm , we'll send crews out, we call it out West or we'll send them up North. Cause that's most , most of the time where that particular weather occurs. Uh , and we'll , you know, we'll provide assistance, you know, with that. So you guys, listeners, you've seen that, you've seen it in action, whether you knew that or not. So

Speaker 3:

that's a great example. And the final one might be my favorite, which is concerned for community . Yes. Yes. I mean , uh , electric cooperatives are based in the communities they serve. So it's not like you have an electric provider that is operating from New York or Charlotte or Raleigh. It's Jones . Onslow is there in the community with you and they want to see the community thrive just as much as you do. So they're committed to um, providing programs and services and grants for teachers and scholarships for students to make sure that the community remains a vibrant place.

Speaker 2:

They're all great. Number seven. I love it.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, that's our favorite.

Speaker 2:

It's all right . Christie , thank you so much for taking the time to be on the show day. Great information about co-op month, the business model. We got an extra tidbit of information in there telling our members what exactly North Carolina electric cooperators are bounced . So thank you so much for joining us . We are going to highlight that number seven cooperative principle . Quite a bit. Concern for community. We do it every month, but we thought we'd kind of do something special this month. So we've put some social media stuff up the last couple of days. We're going to be partnering with our local United way of Oslo County . They started a program several years ago called Chu or it's children healthy eating on weekends. Kids get great meals when they go to school, whether it's breakfast or lunch . Uh , and then, you know, they can eat dinner at home, but we really don't think about it. There's some kids that go home on weekends that they might not have healthy snacks, they may not have food at home. And so the United way started a program several years ago where they basically pack a bunch of backpacks every weekend and they send it home, you know , with needy kids. So we're , we put stuff on social media earlier this month, we're having a food drive at the office. We've got boxes that all three offices, canned goods. You can go out to our website, Joe emc.com/chu , C, H, E, w, and you can see the , uh , recommended , uh , canned goods that you can provide. We're taking them during the month of October. And then in late October, we're actually , uh , after work, employees are gonna get a co gonna stay late and we're going to have to packouts . We're going to have , uh , the United way come over and , uh, set up the backpacks and employees are gonna go into pack out the backpacks. So we think that's just an awesome way to show our concern for community and we hope that it makes an impact. So we'll be right back

Speaker 4:

this Halloween. Don't be spooked by scams. Remember that anyone demanding payment over the phone or personal information is not Joe C and never opened suspicious emails. Instead, call Joe MC to verify your account status. Visit Joe mc.com to learn more on how to avoid the costly effects of being duped by scammers

Speaker 2:

and know that we are here to help.

Speaker 5:

Our next guest is a cooperative member who's part of the organization. Let's do it's pretty cool things in the community. And she and the organization were recently recognized for their efforts. Tell showing energy's who powers you. Contest recently announced this year's winners and Jones Oslo member Marianne Luray was awarded second place in the country. And just as , as a side note, there were over 250 entries this year for the contest and they awarded for process. So she was in some pretty elite company. So Marianne , I just want to welcome you to tell you congratulations for your awesome work. And of course the volunteer work that you're doing, the organization is the filling station. That is correct. And we're gonna talk about that. But again, congratulations. It's awesome. Normally I record these in my office. I have folks come there, but I'm actually on site today at the location. So great to be here. So tell me first question, tell me just a little bit about the filling station, how you guys got started, the name, the mission, and how you got involved.

Speaker 6:

Okay, well , uh, back in 2014 , uh, the Presbyterian church, which is next door to this building was given money , some money, a large amount of money from a family in this town, and the parameters was to start a new mission. Awesome . So , uh, we've had a team of , uh, folks from our church , uh, serving at a local food pantry in Craven County. So we thought that perhaps that we could start something like that in Jones County since there wasn't anything like this. So we are have a church members who own this building and they said we'll lease it for a dollar and come up with something we can do out of the building. So I was on that original task force, there were six of us and we met in this building and we planned and we prayed and we did a little argue in and then we planned and we prayed some more trying to figure out what we're supposed to do. Well we can't walk in through this building. And we kept seeing this sign and it's right there on the wall one zero seven five and we kept thinking maybe that signs telling us something or confirming something. Well that sign is one zero seven five you see that on the back of propane trucks. So anywhere age North Carolina you're going to be behind a propane truck. You'll see that. And so our minister at the time said, why don't we look up Psalm one Oh seven verse five just to see if it gives us any direction. It's the only book in the Bible who has that many chapters. So let's just check it out. Well, it says all those who are hungry and thirsty, their lives were slipping away

Speaker 5:

pretty straight forward and kind of tells you what you need to do, doesn't it? Absolutely. What we were supposed to do, supposed to because you are currently doing it in , in Craven County. So. So that's awesome. So that was a , that was a con . Absolutely. Absolutely. So, and I think what's so neat about this is there isn't like a United way of Jones County. A lot of the, the services that Jones County relies on may come from Craven County or potentially also cared , but mostly Craven County. So , so it's, you and I were talking before we started recording this. It's just really neat to be able to do something in your home community for the citizens of your community. So , um , definitely a sign, I would say

Speaker 6:

definitely , definitely . And as far as the name, how we came up with the name. Well this is an old gas company. It was previously Jenkins gas company and so many people are very familiar and they have this warm feeling, no pun intended when they come to a gas company. Well of course they're paying their bill, but you know, it heats and fills a need. So find a need and fill it. That is our blanket mission, which encompasses , uh , nutrition and education and connecting people with other services. So those are our, that's the three-prong mission, but , uh, it's find , need and fill it . So that's why we call it the billing side .

Speaker 5:

So you guys have been at this since 2014, 2015.

Speaker 6:

Well, we actually got

Speaker 5:

started on August, 2017 all of those years before we're playing, ending and praying and trying to just try it out . Exactly what? Well, we actually presented our plan to are our session of at our church and were voted down twice. We knew that this mission was going to be much bigger than our small church could handle. And we knew it needed to be a nonprofit. It needed to encompass all areas of our County, all faiths, all , uh , Bret needed to represent all the people of the 473 square miles of this large County. And so we knew we needed to go ahead and follow our status. Um , and get our father wants the three set up and our articles of incorporation, our bylaws started building a board, put the board together April of last year. And then we um, had our board training in July. We felt very good about how things were rolling along. Um, our very first partner with with DSS and they started their senior nutrition program August of 2017 so that's why we opened the doors. Then they needed a place to meet and they aligned with our mission. And so then with the storm here I was just saying you got it . Yeah. So you guys were kind of on a roll, right ? We're getting geared up. You're doing your poor training the summer of 18, and you kinda , if I read correctly in the entry that for the who powers you, you guys opened kind of open the food pantry and then within a week or so hurricane Florence came and you were showing me some pictures when we came in. It came right up to your doors. It flooded the town of Pottsville and basically for all intents and purpose, shut you guys down because you couldn't get it for yeah . But

Speaker 6:

okay .

Speaker 5:

A week later or so, surely a short time after you guys opened back up and went to work.

Speaker 6:

Yeah, our disaster, our food pantry opened on September the sixth . Then we were serving Tuesday and Thursday, and then we reopened September the 21st, which was right after the storm. And we ran disaster relief , um, from Monday through Saturday, 10 to five , um, for six days a week. And we served about a hundred cars a day. There were a hundred cars lined up outside the side of this building. They would come up that we would give them a clipboard and they would check off the things that they needed. Everything from cleaning buckets to Pampers, wipes to food, to tarps. We had those things coming in. And so we knew we didn't need that many cars parked on the campus. So we've set up a , uh , logistics , um, situations so people could quickly come in and get the, that they needed. And we, we started about 10,000 people from September to December 31st from all just not Jones County, but all counties surrounding ,

Speaker 5:

you know, reading the entry again. Um, it's, it's amazing when a community and concerned and caring individuals kind of come together and the side to make a difference or try to have a small in your mind. You , yeah , well let's just have an impact and you don't realize eventually what kind of impact you're going to have. So, so that's, I mean, that's really amazing.

Speaker 6:

Strange. We had a S a an extreme sense of urgency. Um, we were putting the board together based on recommendations within the community, one in the morning to make sure Maysville comfort , um , trend and politics will were all represented. And so we did that and the board not knowing each other, we had a, a sense of urgency to get things into place. It was something that looking back, we just, we just shake our heads because we , something supernatural was happening too , to have us that focused on getting ready because God knew that this place needed to be ready. Interestingly enough, the mayor J bend or called me and said, you all need to serve as disaster relief set up staging area. And I said, I don't really know what that means, but yes, okay, we'll do it. I'm like , okay , well this building is 6,200 square feet and it was empty. See , we were trying to figure out, alright , what are we going to do with all these rooms?

Speaker 5:

Probably one of the biggest buildings in Pottsville, I would say definitely Pottsville . Joan , yes , and Joe's County. That's, yeah, that's amazing.

Speaker 6:

We were ready and then because if we had set up our nonprofit status to the IRS and had everything in order, people could start donating online and we could officially and effectively make the needs quick.

Speaker 5:

That's that's, I mean that's amazing . So I'm going to regress or digress a little bit because one thing, and it's great to hear about the filling station and we're going to talk a little bit more about what the organization, not just hurricane Florence and disaster relief or what you guys are doing on a day in, day out basis and stuff like that. We'll talk about it in a second, but one of the things, I haven't talked to the folks at touchstone energy, but I think one of the things that impressed them in your entry was, and you didn't self nominate, we there was a member that nominated you for this because the impact that you're having in the community as a port of the filling station, I guess there was a point in time there wasn't an executive director and it was kinda like, okay, let's let Marianne do it. Or maybe Maryanne said, I'll do it. How did , tell me a little bit about how that came up because you served until not till recently as the interim executive director. Right?

Speaker 6:

Right. Well, I've run my own business for 21 years and I have an incredible corporation behind me that the priorities are faith, family, career. And so when I told them, call them and told them, Hey, this is what's going on, I'm going to need to step away and really help to run this during disaster relief. Um, they said, absolutely, you know, we will support that. But I knew that that would be a short term situation. And , um, you know, when you have a very small , uh, organization, you're trying to get your donors and your funding sources in place and so there is no money to , to pay someone. Um, but the longest short of it is I just felt called, you know, I've grown up in this town. I have , um, you know, been trained by some of the best of the best, you know, farmers and entrepreneurs and Jones County. And that's why we love Jones Onslow EMC so much because that's,

Speaker 5:

that's kind of how that person , that's kind of who we are.

Speaker 6:

So you are, you know, we live on a family farm. Um, I don't mind working hard. Um, I just really felt called that this is what I needed to do. Um, our church started it, but we handed it over to the community and the board kept looking at me at, you know, what, what should we do here? What should we do there? Because I had kinda been working and gone this process with the team since the early, you know, early years. And so I, I guess when you're a part of something for awhile , um, people tend to lean on your a little bit more because you've been around and you might , you may know more answers. Um, but I'll tell you that I had no idea what to do. I really had no idea what I was doing, but I did know the people to call.

Speaker 5:

So let's talk about today. Yeah. So everybody thinks we're cutting Florence obviously in disaster relief. But just tell me day in and day out, what's , uh , if there is a typical week, what are you guys doing?

Speaker 6:

Well, we knew it was very important January one for us to get back on the mission. Um, you know, we were blessed to be called upon to be here to serve, but we knew that we needed to get back on with our mission. And so January one we , um, put stake to sign out in the front yard, which you will see today, that are serving Jones County residents and the members of the churches , um , board participating churches. So what that means is, for example, if somebody lives in Onslow County, but they attend a church in Jones County and they're a member of that church, they can come to the filling station. So we have three things we're doing here. Okay . Nutrition. Now a part of that is our senior nutrition program. We have partnered with DSS. They are open five days a week. They are our flagship partner. They function on the front part of this building. There are 25 to 30 seniors that come five days a week. They have a nice hot meal that is delivered here, arts and crafts and socialization for the morning into the early afternoon, which is wonderful and that certainly makes a name. Absolutely . And then of course our food pantry, our food pantry runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays from nine until one average number of folks show my , we usually serve anywhere from 40 to 50 each day. And so we're serving anywhere from 80 to a hundred per week. People can come every two weeks to pick up produce , um , meats, breads and desserts, those types of things. Our pantry items, we've had to go to a six week rotation just to be able to manage our inventory. We're trying to get a handle on a C nail. We have logged in over 800 clients. Wow. So when you've got 800 clients as six week rotation, you're managing inventory, you're trying to, you know, juggle these, these plates here. But where the donors, where the grants , uh , where's the food and making sure the volunteers are here to put it in the car, logistics, all of these little G logistics that I'm learning lots of bow. Um, and Thea , you know, we also have a federal , uh , food program. It's called the a commodity supplement food program. Uh, by way of the food bank where a partner of the food bank of central and Eastern North Carolina. And uh, so this is a federal program that anyone who is 60 years of age and does not make theirs a stated income, that they can look at a chart and they can receive a box. Now, if they're four people in a household that , uh , meet that requirement, they can get up to four boxes. So, you know, we're serving about 150 a month. All that and food bank delivers that once a. Okay . Um, so the other thing as it relates to uh, nutrition and education is we are starting on the back part of our campus, a community garden. Cool. So we've got a great young gentleman, he is a teacher, a horticulture teacher at West Craven and he has taken it upon himself to draw the plan, set all the motions into place, the build the raised beds and we have a beautiful plan that uh , we're working on and donors can get excited about being a part of that.

Speaker 5:

And that's a great lead in because my next question is if you want to get involved, this is your plug . So this is your plug. If you want to get involved with volunteering, time, volunteering, monetary donations, whatever. This is your plug for the film station in Parksville and ask folks to get them .

Speaker 6:

Yes. Yeah. So please visit our website. Our website is, it's full of information full of a gallery of pictures. It's a filling station, one zero seven five.com filling station one zero seven five.com and on there you will be able to find a form of volunteer form. You can print that right off and mail it to us or you can fill out a contact form and send it to us and we will respond and get back to you and the on that four middle. Tell us you know what types of things you want to do. You know what, what are , where are your gifts and talents lie and how do you feel like that you can best help this organization and partner with this organism

Speaker 5:

and I'm assuming on there also is your address in case somebody wants to send you a check or it's the or stop by and drop off a check

Speaker 6:

and online donation there is an online donation button. It's on the very homepage and it's a red button. You can't miss it and you can click right on there. It's super, super easy to donate on .

Speaker 5:

That's awesome Marianne . Listen, I just want to again tell you congratulations. Who powers you. You are a just a shining example and this organization is just a shining example of why when folks dedicate themselves to the community to make their community better. This is interesting. October is national co-op month and all the co ops throughout the country, whether they're electrical ops or insurance co-ops or food co-ops or whatever, all co-ops operate under seven cooperative principles and one of the cooperative principles actually number seven is concerned for community and I can't really stress how this exemplifies when we were planning this last month or a couple of months ago , we were going to interview you regardless if he had won the award because we just, we loved your story, but it just worked out great that you were the award winner because we think this really just totally exemplifies concern for community. So congratulations again and

Speaker 7:

thank you for, for talking with me today. Absolutely, and thank you so much for coming to the filling station. We'll be right back. October is co-op month and we're celebrating by putting into action one of the seven cooperative principles, concern for community this month. Employees will be participating in the United way of Onslow counties to program by stepping backpacks for community children to take home over the weekend. You can get involved, help and show your concern for community too . All month long. We're collecting food items for the two program at our offices in Jacksonville and Sneads ferry. Find out what food items to donate on our [email protected] slash two thanks for your support and for making our community a wonderful place to live. So in addition to October being co-op Mark , it's also national cyber security awareness month. About my next guest is Jones Oslo's , assistant vice president of network administration, Andy shepherd . And Amy is going to talk to us today about cybersecurity and things that we're doing around here to keep members information safe in an increasingly digitally interconnected world. So Andy , welcome and thank you for joining me. Thank you Steve, for having me on today. So let's talk cyber security top priority around here. And it's something that your team, you guys work on every day , correct? Yes. Here at Jones ons . Oh , cyber security is our number one goal and we have an outstanding group of employees that work around the clock to ensure that we keep everything secure here at Jones Envoy , so strategy, cybersecurity trucks strategy. Tell our listeners how your team tacos is every day and just tell us a little bit about Joe's Oslo's cyber cybersecurity strategy without revealing any secrets to hackers that might be listening. Securing member data is one of the most important things to us here at Jones Onslow and we have many tools in place to ensure we are doing everything possible to protect our member data. We secure our systems by taking a layered approach. Think of it as an onion and as you peel back the onion, you have many layers to go through before you get to a center. Here at Jones Onslow, we use the same philosophy. We start by filtering all traffic that comes through the firewall at Jones Onslow and as it gets through the firewall we filter the data again and again. After that, we have systems in place that looks at information and analyze it to see if we can find any anomalies with the information that's coming in. After it goes through numerous checks and balances, the data's in [inaudible] that can be delivered to the correct employee. All this happens in milliseconds . Yes . For some reason, the security system that we have in place, any out of the ordinary [inaudible] information, then an email is generated and then sent to a security team for review. At that time, the security team investigates the data and make [inaudible] the decision to be , keep the data, purge the data. We also take the same approach with securing our grid . We have many layers of security in place and monitoring all traffic to ensure our grid is protected as well. In meetings , you've told me in the past the number of fishy or questionable emails that we get on it daily or weekly basis and it just, it astonish me . Could you tell me a little more about that and then just let our listeners know about the , the numerous fishy emails or [inaudible] scam emails or whatever that we'd get in a week or a month or a day or whatever. Here at Jones also root , we received thousands of emails a day [inaudible] we actually filter out hundreds of emails a day that are actually fishy or just doesn't meet the standards of our filters or our email security. With that being said, phishing emails still get through to our employees on a daily basis. I do want to brag a little on our employees here at Jones arm's-length . They do a great job in letting the security team know if they receive a question or more email. That type of teamwork helps the security team mitigate a lot of risks. Here at John and John's life . We do training, we have training and in fact we got an email yesterday or the day before from one of your guys. You are correct. I click on cause I looked at it but I didn't click on it. But just talking about cyber security awareness month and that some additional training. But we do online training and we, I think the plan is to get books together for meetings down the road to just talk about potential things because this is just my novice [inaudible] when you have situations that occur internally, a lot of times the number one way that that occurs is through an employee potentially clicking on something within an email they receive . Is that the accurate statement? Correct. Most time it is an internal [inaudible] employee that does click on something. That's why education is so important to security. If you educate your employees to look for the anomalies in the email [inaudible] like the subject line, the sender , make sure all those are legit. And I mean even do little things like you know, if there's something that doesn't look right, call the sender , you know , ask them did they send it to you, you know, double checking that check and balance to make sure that everything's correct with the email. Then this is a great lead in, so we're doing what we can here to protect member data. We're also [inaudible] or T folks are doing what they can do to educate employees and train employees and you talked about emails. Finally, let's talk about a few things that our listeners can do at home because it is of national cyber security awareness month and I would think most people have some sort of laptop desktop machine . Some folks are going to two tablet devices now and whatnot, but everybody pretty much as some sort of do [inaudible] wait that they're connecting to the internet or checking emails. Oh . Or something like that. Give our listeners just to [inaudible] with tips about some things that they can do. The key, they're systems safe at home. I would say one of the most important things to us is patching and patching is something very simple but also is very important and a lot of people you notice a patch and this kind of, you know, you know , I really need to take it or not. Yeah , passion goes a long way and by doing patching, you mitigate a lot of exposure. Let me ask you this real quick. When you say patching , you mean update? Like if you're on a windows machine, it might come up and say there's a system update or windows update or something like that? Yeah , yeah . This button to update, is that correct? Okay . I'll give you some examples. Like windows patches for windows, iOS patches for your iPads , your iPhone, any kind of smart device, whether it's a laptop, desktop, iPad, oper , Android device mean keeping up with latest patches is the best practice when you're trying to protect your information. So let me talk about the , and this is totally off script again, it's kind of like a , a total war. It's kinda like a war. So windows, Apple, whomever, they have their operating systems and the hackers and the bad guys are out there. They're trying to find ways in there too . Yeah , yeah . They might get some way to get in or do this or do that. And there Ian and then Apple or Microsoft or whoever finds out about it. Yeah . Did they create a patch or creating an update and they do it and they protect the systems again and then the hackers found out that this is a rotated and they go. So it's just a back and forth thing. Right, exactly. It's a big game of chess. Okay . Wow. Okay . Those guys, man, I'm firmly convinced if the hackers used that in a productive manner in life, they would Oh , probably be millionaires are big and they're so, but anyway, so patching number one, what else can they do? Yeah , go to emails again, like I said before, just pay attention to the subject line, you know, who sent it, you know , does it look right, does it look [inaudible] um , the sender makes sure it is the actual sender's email address. Um , [inaudible] anything out of the ordinary, just be cautious. Um, the other thing, yeah, just be careful with public wifi. Um, you know, a lot of the wifi is just easy to set up wifi, public wifi areas and you know, just be very cautious of what you're connecting to would probably be the other thing. What I was reading about that was when I read something to my dual research about this, you're connecting a free wifi, you know , the location or whatever. Well just remember that it's a free wifi location and that there potentially could be a hacker that's connecting to the free, same free wifi or someone that's trying to get into your system or whatever. So yeah , not saying that it's not you , it should connect to them. [inaudible] I don't know that I would go somewhere and pay bills or put credit card information or do something like that. Yeah , I mean, correct. That's a good guy. Okay , good, good. Um , the last one but surely not least strong password. I can't say enough about passwords. They provide essential protection from identity theft. One of the most common ways that hackers break in and computers are by guessing passwords. Yeah . You know , simple and commonly used passwords enables, introduced easily gain access and control of a computing device. Okay . Team members, you know, take your time and make strong passwords. And if the system allows for long passwords, use a pass phrase. [inaudible] is easier to remember than a short complex [inaudible] password . And by all means, don't never use a default password. Whenever you use light one, two, three, four, five or, or uh , please , I'll make passwords your past . Yeah . Don't make passwords your password. And just as a side, you know, we have so many potential passwords that we do have to remember there is apps and there is software and whatnot that you can store. You can store your passwords, you can, I mean like, like a warehouse. If you, when you get older like me and your memory sometimes faults or you have 30 or 40 different sites that you go to that might require a password. There are apps or pieces of software that you can used as a warehouse, isn't it? It's the storm . Yeah . And that's , that's very important. I would definitely, there's lots of apps. There's lots of software out there that does this. Just take your time and research , you know, one that best fits you. Yeah , definitely. I would suggest you get some kind of [inaudible] password vault. That way we'll hold it . How will the passwords in there for you. And just remember if you get a password vault app, [inaudible] cool . Most likely have to remember the password to get into that vault. So don't write it down to stick it under your keyboard or something like that. But it's a good way to protect your information. So Andy, thanks man. This has been great. Yeah , you've educated them , our listeners about what we're doing at Jones ons Logue to protect their information you've educated them about, but some potential tips that they can do at home. Hey folks, just remember, watch out for the emails, the passwords, the wifi. Oh , and of course the other one that you mentioned was the emails, password and the patches. Of course, you know the patches. So a great information. Thank you for joining me. Thank you Steve for having me on and I appreciate you coming and I'm sure we'll have you on again books. We'll be right back.

Speaker 4:

There's many myths or old wives tale is passed down over time, but when it comes, energy myths can cost you money. Like the one about using computers screensavers to save energy. Those mystical, whirling shapes may mesmerize you when you're not working on your computer, but they're not saving energy. In fact, your screen saver is a computer program that's running, so you're not saving energy at all. Instead, use your computer's sleep mode setting to kick in after a period of inactivity. For more energy myths, visit J O E M c.com.

Speaker 8:

Well, folks, that'll do it for this episode of flipping the switch. Until next time, if you don't currently follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or any of our other social media channels, consider doing so. It's the best way to keep informed about what's going on with your cooperative . Thanks again

Speaker 1:

[inaudible] .

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