The world is a much different place than it was a decade ago. Today, nearly every part of our lives are connected to the Internet. We can take pictures with our smartphones and upload them instantaneously to social media networks, use GPS navigation to find our desired destinations, and pay our bills and manage our finances online. This year marks the tenth anniversary of National Cyber Security Awareness Month. As Americans become more reliant on modern technology, we also become more vulnerable to cyber exploits such as corporate security breaches, social media fraud, and spear phishing, which targets employees through emails that appear to be from colleagues, allowing cyber criminals to steal personal and business information. Given the stakes we cannot afford to only think about the next year, we must remain focused on meeting the challenges of the next ten years.
Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility and each of us has a role to play. It only takes a single infected computer to potentially infect thousands and perhaps millions of others. Everyone should take basic cybersecurity measures that can improve both individual and our collective safety online. Some steps you can take to ensure you and your family are safe online include:
- Don’t open emails or attachments that look suspicious
- Set strong passwords, and don’t share them with anyone
- Keep your operating system, browser, and other critical software optimized by checking for and installing updates
- Limit the amount of personal information you post online, and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widel
Cybersecurity has emerged as a top priority for the Department of Homeland Security in our efforts to secure federal civilian government networks, work with critical infrastructure owners and operators, combat cyber crime, build a national capacity to promote responsible cyber behavior and cultivate the next generation of frontline cybersecurity professionals—while keeping a steady focus on safeguarding the public’s civil rights and civil liberties. In an effort to raise public awareness and empower Americans to practice and promote safe cyber practices, DHS and our partners have recognized National Cyber Security Awareness Month as an opportunity to help equip everyone with the tools they need to stay safe online.
During October, DHS and our partners are holding various events and outreach efforts across the country to raise awareness and educate Americans about topics including mobile device security, growing the cyber workforce, combating cyber crime, and the cybersecurity of our nation’s critical infrastructure.
Find out more about DHS and our partners’ work during National Cyber Security Awareness Month.