Hinkle

FBI Agent Christopher Hinkle Speaks on Cyber Safety

CCC’s Office of Information Technology recently recognized National Cyber Security Awareness Month with a Lunch and Learn. The guest speaker for the event, Special Agent Christopher Hinkle went into detail about his career, spanning almost 20 years, conducting investigations for the Federal Bureau of Investigations and how observant everyday people can help FBI agents with tips.

FBI Agent Christopher Hinkle Speaks on Cyber Safety

Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4057 - Melody Dixon

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Tue Oct 23, 2018

HinkleCCC’s Office of Information Technology recently recognized National Cyber Security Awareness Month with a Lunch and Learn. The guest speaker for the event, Special Agent Christopher Hinkle went into detail about his career, spanning almost 20 years, conducting investigations for the Federal Bureau of Investigations and how observant everyday people can help FBI agents with tips.

“You know what looks odd in your neighborhood,” Hinkle said. “I can’t drive into your neighborhood and know who should and should not be there. But I can help out if you see something odd and you want to bring it to our attention.”

Attendees socialized and indulged in pizza and sodas before Hinkle gave his presentation. He warned against spoofed email addresses and phishing. With examples of unfortunate incidents, he discussed instances where private information was mishandled in the school system. He described the Chicago Public Schools’ incident in June when the personal data of more than 3,700 students and families was exposed through a mass email with the link to a spreadsheet.

Hinkle doled out information useful for incorporating safe practices on the Internet to department heads.

“Limit the opportunities for them to get curious about what’s open to them,” Hinkle said. “If you’re able to check your personal email on your work email, try to have them get in the habit of opening up another window.”

Hinkle, a Tuscaloosa, Alabama native who now resides in Madison, Mississippi, took charge of the Cyber Division for the Federal Bureau of Investigations field office in Washington as the Supervisory Special Agent before being assigned to the Jackson, Mississippi division as SSA to oversee the gangs, violent crimes, drugs, computer analysis and civil rights programs in 2006.

He was also tasked with reopening the cold case of the 1964 Mississippi Burning in which three men were found dead and a church was torched by Ku Klux Klan members during the Freedom Summer project.

“My squad was the one that had arrested some of the Klansmen that we tied back to the Civil Rights era back then,” said Hinkle.

Having studied psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi, Hinkle brought up his four-month duty assignment helping to eradicate terrorism with an interpreter and another agent in Baghdad, Iraq.

“I interrogated some of the Jihadists you see in the news,” he said.

Hinkle reflected on responding to the terrorist attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. He spent 13 years in the United States Air Force which led to him becoming a special agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. He is currently the Private Sector Coordinator and Infragard Coordinator for the Jackson Division of the FBI.

Chief Information Officer of the Office of Information Technology Rob Stalder believes office employees should adopt cyber safety habits that keep sensitive data confidential.

“Special Agent Hinkle's talk was very important because cyber security is a major issue for all colleges & universities today,” Stalder said.

“It is vital that all Coahoma Community College faculty & staff carefully handle all student, Human Resources, and financial data with utmost care, because a single data breach could be very harmful for everyone. That means using strong passwords that are very difficult to guess, as well as not clicking on links or attachments in emails if you don't know from exactly where that email was sent, or who sent it to you."