October 2018 marks the 15th annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), a collaborative effort co-led by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to help everyone learn how to improve their online safety and security. Throughout the month, we will provide user-friendly resources like tip sheets, infographics and videos ‒ that are free to download and share ‒ so you can help your family and friends stay safer online. Each week in October supports a theme, based on a different online safety issue. We will showcase a number of timely topics, such as staying cyber secure in your daily life, exciting career opportunities and awareness and education in the workplace.
We will kickoff NCSAM with internet safety basics. Think about it, as kids we learned to look both ways before crossing the street and to always wear your safety belt in the car. Today, there are also simple life lessons that should be applied online. Families use the internet in almost every aspect of their lives from engaging in social media to adjusting the home thermostat to paying bills online. It is vital to make certain that the entire household ‒ including children – learns to use the internet safely and responsibly and that networks and mobile devices are secure.
In support of the NCSAM’s launch we are working with Intel whose innovation powers the smart and connected world. Together we will remind desktop and laptop computer owners of the importance of updating their systems when notified from their system manufacturer or operating system vendor. Having the latest system updates, security software, web browser and operating system is one of the best ways to help keep devices secure, protect data and deliver an amazing computing experience.
Cybersecurity is our shared responsibility. Support NCSAM and help everyone to be safer and more secure online. Here are a few simple things you can do to help:
- Keep a clean machine. Keep all software on internet-connected devices – including personal computers, smartphones and tablets – current to reduce risk of infection from ransomware and malware.
- Get involved on social media. Use the #CyberAware hashtag in your posts, follow us on Facebook and Twitter and download our sample social media content to share before and during the month.
- Sign up to be a NCSAM Champion. Register yourself and/or your organization as a Champion to take action in support of NCSAM and receive materials you can use to spread the word. It’s easy and free to sign up.
- Join our #ChatSTC Twitter chats. Each week, @STOPTHNKCONNECT will host a discussion related to the weekly NCSAM theme. This Thursday, Oct. 4, at 3 p.m. EDT/noon PDT, we’ll discuss the how to make your home a haven for online safety. Use #ChatSTC to join!
For more information on NCSAM and how you can get involved, visit our NCSAM web portal and check out DHS’ STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ page. We look forward to partnering with you to make this NCSAM the best yet!