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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.

…in one hour:

…in one day:

  • 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.           

…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:
    • Lock Down Your Login: Fortify your online accounts by enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics, security keys or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device. Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media.
    • Own Your Online Presence: Set the privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level for information sharing. It's OK to limit how and with whom you share information.
    • Personal Information is Like Money. Value it. Protect it.: Information about you, such as purchase history or location, has value – just like money. Be thoughtful about who gets that information and how it's collected by apps and websites.  
    • Keep a Clean Machine: Keep all software on internet-connected devices – including PCs, smartphones and tablets – up to date to reduce risk of infection from malware.
    • Share With Care: Think before posting about yourself and others online. Consider what a post reveals, who might see it and how it could be perceived now and in the future.    

Download: How Home Users Can Support NCSAM (PDF) 
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