If you work in the business arena, you likely depend largely upon your IT department to handle computer security issues. If you’re a home PC user, you probably rely upon some form of security software to keep you protected from online risks. But did you know that you can actively combat cyber security threats, regardless of your technology proficiency?

In recognition of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), an annual reminder of our shared responsibility in keeping the Internet safe, Microsoft wants you to know that as long as you use the Internet, you have the power to make it more secure. The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) – of which Microsoft is an active member –  and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have developed three easy-to-remember tips to keep computer users vigilant all year round. All you need to do is: STOP. THINK. CONNECT.

  • STOP:  Before going online, learn about the risks and how to avoid them. Creating strong passwords are a great first step to protecting yourself and your computer.   
  • THINK:  Pause to check that the path ahead is clear. Watch for warning signs and consider how your actions (or inactions) might impact your safety or that of someone else.
  • CONNECT:  Enjoy the Internet with increased confidence, knowing that you’ve taken some key steps to help protect yourself, your information, and devices. 

These are fundamental tips that encourage mindful business and personal use of the Internet. To help you take your vigilance a step further, Microsoft provides a free range of resources to support you. Our security website houses comprehensive online safety resources, and we offer businesses a free toolkit to address workplace cyber safety, as well as weekly videos with practical consumer tips throughout the month of October in honor of NCASM.

In the weeks to come, Microsoft will participate in NCSAM events across the U.S. to raise awareness of cyber risks and educate the public on how to mitigate them, and we’ll also release compelling results of a new poll about online scams. 

We believe it is our responsibility as a business to model and promote good digital citizenship behaviors to keep the Internet a place we can all securely explore and enjoy. Check out the security resources here.