"It's pretty concerning when we have a 35 percent click rate from our county employees. We need for them to know what to look for."

McPherson County Commissioners approved a plan Monday morning to train county employees in an effort to improve computer security.

Jeff Butler, the county's information technology coordinator, presented the plan, which will teach employees how to recognize and avoid phishing scams and other potential threats to the security of county data.

"I performed a baseline phishing test last week," Butler said, explaining that he sent out an email mimicking an actual phishing attempt. "It's pretty concerning when we have a 35 percent click rate from our county employees. We need for them to know what to look for."

Phishing is a type of scam in which the scammer attempts to gather personal data, such as passwords or financial information, by sending an email that appears to come from a legitimate company. The email asks the receive to click a link and provide information in order to receive a benefit, such as a discount.

While clicking the link may take the person to a legitimate-looking website, it's actually a front for scammers to gather personal data. This can cause security problems for the victim, and also give the scammers easier access to the county network.

The training program will cost $1,890 for one year and teach employees to recognize suspicious emails and other techniques phishers might use to steal their information. It will also make it easier for employees to report any suspicious emails they receive.

Butler said he will send out phishing-style emails randomly to make sure employees are following what they learn in training. He said this will hopefully encourage employees to be more cautious and reduce the chance of unwanted people getting into the county network.

The county agreed to seek bids for roadway materials for 2017. This includes the materials and shipping.