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How you can support NCSAM

Americans are storing more of their personal information on home computers, including sensitive data like tax records, bank statements and family photos. Losing such valuable and personal items to cybercrime could be devastating. Whether you go online once a week or every day, there are simple steps you can take to protect your personal information from cybercriminals. The global cybersecurity awareness campaign STOP. THINK. CONNECT. has made those tips available here.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), held each October, is a great time to begin following STOP. THINK. CONNECT. and sharing it with family and friends to help them stay safe and secure online. Whether you are able to show your support for just one day or every day in October, consider the following ways you can make a difference to raise cybersecurity awareness.

What you can do…

...in one minute:

  • Follow STOP. THINK. CONNECT. on Facebook and Twitter to receive the latest online safety news and resources. 
  • Promote NCSAM on social networks. Find social media profile icons and sample posts to share on your social media platforms.
  • Send an email to your family and friends telling them October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Encourage them to read and follow STOP. THINK. CONNECT. tips and advice. 

…in one hour:

  • Use the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. tips and advice sheets to guide a family conference about how each everyone can use their computer, mobile phone and other devices safely and securely.

…in one day:

  • Follow these STOP. THINK. CONNECT. tips one day in October, and continue to do so regularly throughout the year:
    • Make passwords long, strong and unique: Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password.
    • Back it up: Protect anything you have saved on your computer (personal paperwork, music, photos, etc.) by making an electronic copy and storing it safely.                           

…all month long:

  • When appropriate, share with your employer, your coworkers, your children’s teachers and other people with whom you communicate  frequently that October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Remind them that cybersecurity is “Our Shared Responsibility” and encourage them look at ways they can support NCSAM.  
  • Talk to your family, friends and coworkers about what information you should and shouldn't send over email. Personal (e.g., Social Security numbers) and financial (e.g., credit card numbers and banking accounts) information should never be sent over email. You may also consider using an email encryption service to keep sensitive emails secure. 

…all year round:

  • Follow these STOP. THINK. CONNECT. principles:
    • Own your online presence. Set privacy and security settings on social networks and websites to your comfort level of sharing.
    • Keep a clean machine. Keep your security software current and automate software updates for your web browsers and operating system.
    • Connect with care. Delete online communications that seem suspicious, even if you think you know the source.
    • Be a good online citizen. Follow STOP. THINK. CONNECT. tips and advice when you connect to the Internet, and encourage others to do the same. Practicing good online habits benefits the global digital community.

Download: How Home Users Can Support NCSAM (PDF) 
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