Expert Alert

Cybersecurity and Generative AI

Headshot of Mark Langanki next to an image of a system hacked warning alert on a laptop.
Mark Langanki. Credit: Getty Images

Artificial intelligence continues to rise in popularity as more people are using the technology for work, school and entertainment. 

Using generative AI and inputting any information — especially details that are personal or confidential — comes with a unique set of risks. 

Mark Langanki, a teaching specialist in the U of M’s College of Continuing and Professional Studies, provides expert commentary on the risks associated with generative AI and the steps you can take to protect against scams and fraud.

Mark Langanki

“With AI’s capability to recreate someone’s likeness and voice, there is an ever-higher risk that bad actors may try to disrupt our lives. In just three seconds of recorded audio, an AI system can use that captured voice to say anything. How are we now going to know if it is our CFO, aunt or building manager when we get a call asking, ‘Hey, I need you to transfer this month's rent to my Venmo?’ It is difficult to distinguish the fake from the real, so use safety measures to protect your privacy, information and finances, such as:

1. Call the person back before giving any information.
2. Ask questions about a previous meeting that no one else could know.
3. Don’t rely on seeing someone via video chat — even video can be hacked.
4. Call, text, or chat with them simultaneously on another 'channel' when anything sensitive is discussed.”

Mark Langanki is a teaching specialist in the College of Continuing and Professional Studies. His areas of expertise include computing as it relates to telephony, networked applications and distributed systems. Mark is the CTO of C1 and is leading innovation around the next model of IT and cloud services. He teaches at the University of Minnesota about operating systems, network programming, languages and IT operations.

About the College of Continuing and Professional Studies
Established in 1913, the College of Continuing and Professional Studies (CCAPS) empowers lifelong learners to achieve their educational goals through professional courses, applied and individualized degrees and other academic pathways. With values that include Access, Learning, Inclusivity, Collaboration and Excellence, the College pursues a learner-centric environment where diverse ideas, backgrounds and identities are embraced.

About “Expert Alert”
University of Minnesota experts can provide commentary, insights and opinions on various news topics. Find selected experts on the University’s Experts Guide or send requests to [email protected]

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