Public Officials, Business Leaders and Cybersecurity Experts Gather at "Two Steps Ahead: Protect Your Digital Life" Event to Educate Local Residents On Ways to Stay Safer and More Secure Online

U. S. Representative Fred Upton featured speaker


WASHINGTON, D.C., July 9, 2015– The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), a nonprofit public-private partnership focused on helping all digital citizens stay safer and more secure online, is coming to Kalamazoo, MI with its STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Two Steps Ahead: Protect Your Digital Life Tour to educate consumers and businesses about adopting simple security measures like Two-Step Authentication into their everyday lives.

The event, which takes place on July 13 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Western Michigan University Fetzer Center, 1903 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo,is the 11th stop on a national tour to spread the word about activating easily implemented security features, like Two-Step Authentication, available on many of the web’s most popular sites. WMU President John M. Dunn and U. S. Congressman Fred Upton will open the event with remarks, and the morning will feature a hands-on demonstration showing attendees how to improve their security on sites like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and LinkedIn. The event concludes with a panel discussion and Q & A with local consumer protection and cybersecurity experts.

Lack of consumer adoption of good password practices continues to create problems. The good news is more Internet sites are implementing additional safety features that can help computer users add another layer of security to their accounts. These features go by many names, including Two-Step Authentication. The process is simple and requires login approvals using a variety of methods, including SMS texts to a mobile device, or random one-time use password generators. The goal is the same, allowing only authorized people to access an account. Additionally, NCSA has created an educational and entertaining video – in simple, memorable language – that walks viewers through the process  

“It’s time to shift our viewpoint and ‒ literally ‒ get “two steps ahead” on Internet security by changing our position from one dominated by vulnerability and risk to focusing on taking action by using Two–Step Authentication and creating a culture of cybersecurity,” said Michael Kaiser executive director at NCSA. “We can do this by working together and using new security tools to build a safer, more secure and trusted Internet. Utilizing all available security measures and understanding the consequences of actions and behaviors online is the key message underlying the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign. ”

“We hear about people and companies getting hacked almost every week," said Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, "There are some simple security measures we want to show folks during this presentation on how to protect themselves from cyber thieves.”

The event will include a panel discussion and audience Q & A with the following participants:

  • Jon Miller Steiger, Director, East Central Regional Office, Federal Trade Commission
  • Katharyn Barron, Consumer Protection Division Chief, Office of Michigan Attorney General

  • Phil Catlett, President/CEO, Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan

  • Barb Hiemstra, Kent County Information Security Director, Co-Founder of West Michigan Cyber Security Consortium (WMCSC)

  • Kristin Judge, Director of Special Projects, National Cyber Security Alliance

Registration is free and open to the public, but space is limited.

To register, visit

“We want to thank all our partners who helped make the event in Kalamazoo a success,” Kaiser said.

To learn more about staying safe online and to find links to websites that offer additional account security visit

About The National Cyber Security Alliance and STOP. THINK. CONNECT.
The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is the nation’s leading nonprofit cybersecurity education and awareness organization.  In collaboration with the government, corporate, non-profit and other sectors, NCSA’s mission is to educate and empower everyone to use the Internet safely and more securely. NCSA board members include: ADP, AT&T, Bank of America, Comcast, EMC Corporation, ESET, Facebook, Google, Intel, McAfee,, Microsoft, Symantec, Target, Verizon and Visa. The STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign was created by an unprecedented coalition of private companies, nonprofits and government organizations with leadership provided by NCSA and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG).  NCSA’s other signature programs are National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and Data Privacy Day. The Department of Homeland Security leads the federal engagement in the campaign. Visit for more information and join us on Facebook at

Media Contact

Jessica Beffa