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In an effort to keep DHS.gov current, the archive contains outdated information that may not reflect current policy or programs.

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Release Date: October 1, 2009

Everyone thinks about cybersecurity now and then. Whether you’re setting up your business’ website, or opening a new checking account, or sitting down with your child to get on the internet; it’s an issue that affects all of us. Cybercrimes and the security of our private and government cyber infrastructure are critical parts of the department’s mission to secure our homeland – by making sure that we are all safer online.

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and the Secretary was joined this morning by Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn III, White House National Security Staff Acting Senior Director for Cybersecurity Chris Painter, Deputy Under Secretary for NPPD and Director of the National Cybersecurity Center Phil Reitinger, and Director of the Secret Service Mark Sullivan at an event here in Washington, D.C. to kick it off. During the event, Secretary Napolitano took the opportunity to announce the department’s new authority to recruit and hire up to 1,000 cybersecurity professionals across DHS to fill critical roles – including cyber risk and strategic analysis; cyber incident response; vulnerability detection and assessment; intelligence and investigation; and network and systems engineering.

“Effective cybersecurity requires all partners—individuals, communities, government entities and the private sector—to work together to protect our networks and strengthen our cyber resiliency,” said Secretary Napolitano. “This new hiring authority will enable DHS to recruit the best cyber analysts, developers and engineers in the world to serve their country by leading the nation’s defenses against cyber threats.”

Throughout October, we’ll be talking about ways you can make yourself, your business, and your family safer online. Cybersecurity, like preparing for a natural disaster or for a terrorist attack, is a shared responsibility; every American has a role to play. How can you contribute? That’s easy:
Take Action - There are many things businesses, schools, and home users can do to practice cybersecurity during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and beyond.
  • Make sure that you have anti-virus software and firewalls installed, properly configured, and up-to-date. New threats are discovered every day, and keeping your software updated is one of the easier ways to protect yourself from an attack. Set your computer to automatically update for you.
  • Update your operating system and critical program software. Software updates offer the latest protection against malicious activities. Turn on automatic updating if that feature is available.
  • Back up key files. If you have important files stored on your computer, copy them onto a removable disc and store it in a safe place.

Endorse - Demonstrate your commitment to cybersecurity.

  • Create a section for cybersecurity on your organization's Web site.
  • Add a signature block to your e-mail:"October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Stay Safe Online!
  • Find more resources at US CERT.

Educate - Find out what more you can do to secure cyberspace and how you can share this with others.

  • Participate in the National Cyber Security Alliance Cyber Security Awareness Volunteer Education (C-SAVE) Program and help educate elementary, middle, and high-school students about Internet safety and security.
  • Review cybersecurity tips with your family.
  • Use regular communications in your business—newsletters, e-mail alerts, Web sites, etc.—to increase awareness on issues like updating software processes, protecting personal identifiable information, and securing your wireless network.

Check out the new Cybersecurity Awareness Month page on dhs.gov to learn more, and stay tuned throughout the month.

Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
Last Updated: 10/21/2021
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