Washington, D.C. – The countdown to National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) 2016 has begun, with October 1 marking the start of the 13th annual event. This far-reaching initiative, co-led by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), helps provide all digital citizens with the tools they need to be safer, more secure and better able to protect their personal information online. The overall theme for the month is “Our Shared Responsibility,” highlighting the role each individual and organization must play in promoting a safer internet.
NCSA and DHS encourage their partners and companies of all sizes to take steps this October to protect themselves and the larger digital community. The 2016 NCSAM Champions – organizations that have officially joined on to support the month – are bolstering the greater effort by spreading the word about online safety at home, at work and in the community, and participating in NCSAM programs and events. Organizations of all types can become Champions – it’s a free and easy way to get involved in NCSAM. To date, 280 Champions are leading the charge in making this year’s NCSAM the most successful yet. To ensure that participation is made easy, Champions will receive weekly emails during October with a variety of user-friendly materials – such as infographics, memes and sample social media posts – to stay involved with the month’s activities.
“NCSAM continues to grow bigger with each passing year, and we are excited to continue building on this extremely collaborative effort in 2016,” said NCSA Executive Director Michael Kaiser. “The true spirit of NCSAM is founded in the broad-reaching ways that industry, government, academia and nonprofit organizations nationwide work in concert to influence and educate their diverse audiences about online safety and security.”
A core message used during the month and throughout the year is STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ – simple, actionable advice anyone can follow. STOP: make sure security measures are in place. THINK: about the consequences of your actions and behaviors online. CONNECT: and enjoy the internet. STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ is a global online safety awareness and education campaign with hundreds of international partner organizations. STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ was co-founded by NCSA and the Anti-Phishing Working Group and is implemented via a partner program of more than 420 organizations that integrate the campaign into their education and awareness efforts and share the message in their communities. It’s easy (and free) to sign up as a STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ partner; learn more here.
In an effort to drive conversation about the online safety issues impacting digital citizens the most, each week in October has a unique theme focused on a different cybersecurity issue or trend. The 2016 NCSAM themes are:
- Week 1: Oct. 3-7 STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™: The Basic Steps to Online Safety and Security
- Week 2: Oct. 10-14 From the Break Room to the Boardroom: Creating a Culture of Cybersecurity in the Workplace
- Week 3: Oct. 17-21 Recognizing and Combating Cybercrime
- Week 4: Oct. 24-28 Our Continuously Connected Lives: What’s Your “Apptitude”?
- Week 5: Oct. 31 Building Resilience in Critical Systems
Check out NCSA’s latest infographic to learn more about these themes and how you can join the greater NCSAM effort this October. On a weekly basis, NCSA and partners will distribute materials to help you spread the word about NCSAM and that week’s theme. Join the conversation on social media and find out the latest NCSAM news by following and using the hashtag #CyberAware; additionally, check out one or more of the weekly #ChatSTC Twitter chats, taking place every Thursday in October at 3 p.m. EDT/noon PDT (you can learn more about the October #ChatSTC chats and other NCSAM events – and submit your own event – here). NCSA has also created sample social media content that you can download and share leading up to and throughout the month. Additional information about NCSAM, along with resources like infographics, posters and more, can be found at https://staysafeonline.org/ncsam.
About National Cyber Security Awareness Month
National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online. Now in its 13th year, NCSAM is co-led by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, the nation’s leading nonprofit public-private partnership promoting the safe and secure use of the Internet and digital privacy. Recognized annually in October, NCSAM involves the participation of a multitude of industry leaders ‒ mobilizing individuals, small- and medium-sized businesses, non-profits, academia, multinational corporations and governments. Encouraging digital citizen around the globe to STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™, NCSAM is harnessing the collective impact of its programs and resources to increase awareness about today’s ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape. Visit the NCSAM media room: https://www.staysafeonline.org/about-us/news/media-room/.
About the National Cyber Security Alliance
The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is the nation’s leading nonprofit, public-private partnership promoting cybersecurity and privacy education and awareness. NCSA works with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and NCSA’s Board of Directors, which include representatives from ADP; AT&T Services, Inc.; Bank of America; Barclays; BlackBerry Corporation; Cisco; Comcast Corporation; ESET North America; Facebook; Google; Intel Corporation; Logical Operations; Microsoft Corp.; PayPal; PKWARE; Raytheon; RSA, the Security Division of EMC; SANS Institute; Symantec and Visa Inc. NCSA’s core efforts include National Cyber Security Awareness Month (October), Data Privacy Day (January 28) and STOP. THINK. CONNECT., the global online safety awareness and education campaign cofounded by NCSA and the Anti-Phishing Working Group, with federal government leadership from DHS. For more information on NCSA, please visit staysafeonline.org/about-us/overview/.
About STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™
STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ is the global cybersecurity education and awareness campaign. The campaign was created by an unprecedented coalition of private companies, nonprofits and government organizations with leadership provided by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Anti-Phishing Working Group. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security leads the federal engagement in the campaign. Learn how to get involved at stopthinkconnect.org.