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Kicking off National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Posted by Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute

Today’s modern world is more interconnected than ever before. Everything from online shopping to social networking to providing basic utilities requires the reliability and security of the Internet.

While increased interconnectivity has plenty of advantages, it has also increased the risk of theft, fraud, and abuse to individuals, businesses, communities, and governments.  That’s why cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, and each of us has a role to play. Emerging cyber threats require the engagement of our entire society including government and law enforcement, the private sector, and members of the public. 

Today, President Obama issued a presidential proclamation announcing the eighth annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), which has been recognized by state and local governments, as well as industry and academia.  Every October, we take the opportunity to engage public and private sector stakeholders, as well as the general public, to promote a safe, secure, and resilient cyber environment. 

This month is also the first anniversary of the Department’s Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign, an ongoing national public awareness effort to engage and challenge Americans to join practice and promote safe online practices.

Individuals and business can follow a few simple steps to keep themselves, their identities, and information safe online:
  • 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 children 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.
Throughout the month of October and beyond, we invite you to join us in creating a safe, secure and resilient cyberspace.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
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