We now live in a world that is more connected than ever before. The Internet touches almost all aspects of everyone’s daily life, whether we realize it or not. We connect with friends and family, conduct business and banking online and rely on many services, like transportation and electricity, that are supported with online systems. Technology has spearheaded advancements in healthcare, education, business, music, government, and many other industries. As technology advances, our lives become easier and more connected. However, this convenience comes with a risk to our personal and community’s security. Every time we connect to the Internet – at home, at school, at work, or on our mobile devices – we make decisions that affect not only ourselves, but our neighbors, or colleagues, and our nation. Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, and each of us has a role to play.
Recognizing the importance of cybersecurity to our nation, President Obama designated October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month. National Cyber Security Awareness Month is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity and increasing the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident. October 2015 marks the 12th Annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.
However, being constantly connected brings increased risk of theft, fraud, and abuse. No country, industry, community, or individual is immune to cyber risks. As a nation, we face constant cyber threats against our critical infrastructure and economy. As individuals, cybersecurity risks can threaten our finances, identity, and privacy. Since our way of life depends on critical infrastructure and the digital technology that operates it, cybersecurity is one of our country’s most important national security priorities, and we each have a role to play—cybersecurity is a shared responsibility.
National Cyber Security Awareness Month is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity and increasing the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident. National Cyber Security Awareness Month takes place each October and is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.
National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2015 Themes
Week 1: October 1-2
General Cybersecurity Awareness: Celebrating 5 Years of Stop.Think.Connect.™
Celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign, week one focuses on cybersecurity as a shared responsibility, and provides simple online tips to empower all Americans to be safer online.
Week 2: October 5-9
Creating a Culture of Cybersecurity at Work
Highlights the common threats businesses and employees are exposed to and provides resources for business and employees to stay safer online and enhance their existing security plans.
Week 3: October 12-16
Connected Communities: Staying Protected While Always Connected
Emphasizes the importance of protecting ourselves when connecting to the Internet while on the go. Week two provides best practices for using mobile devices and social media, and encourages us all to become better digital citizens in our communities.
Week 4: October 19-23
Your Evolving Digital Life
Highlights the “smart world” we live in and the importance of educating all citizens on cybersecurity as more and more of the devices we use – from phones and tablets to homes and medical devices – become connected to the Internet. Week four provides a current snapshot of technology and where we envision technology taking us in the future.
Week 5: October 26-30
Building the Next Generation of Cyber Professionals
Week five looks to the future of the cybersecurity workforce, focusing on cybersecurity education and awareness in schools at all levels, and emphasizing the need for properly trained cybersecurity professionals.
How to Get Involved in National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2015
- Stay tuned for more information about each week, including the keystone event locations across the country throughout the month of October.
- Use the National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2015 hashtag #CyberAware in your social media messages before and during the month.
- Get information on how your government, law enforcement, business, school, or organization can take action during National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
- Teach elementary, middle, and high school students about Internet safety and security.
- Post cybersecurity tips, news, and resources highlighting National Cyber Security Awareness Month on social media sites.
Year-Round Tips and Resources
Americans can follow simple steps to keep themselves, their assets, and their personal information safe online. Here are a few tips all Internet users can leverage to practice cybersecurity during National Cyber Security Awareness Month and throughout the year:
- Set strong passwords and don’t share them with anyone.
- Keep your operating system, browser, and other critical software optimized by installing updates.
- Maintain an open dialogue with your family, friends, and community about Internet safety.
- Limit the amount of personal information you post online and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely.
- Be cautious about what you receive or read online—if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
For tips and resources you can use and share throughout the year, visit the DHS Stop.Think.Connect. Toolkit and find resources for the following demographics:
- Students K-8, 9-12, and Undergraduate
- Parents and Educators
- Young Professionals
- Older Americans
- Small Business
- Law Enforcement
For more information on how to practice cybersecurity during National Cyber Security Awareness Month and throughout the year, visit Stop.Think.Connect. or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.