Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Michael Kaiser, Executive Director of the National Cyber Security Alliance.
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. National Cyber Security Awareness Month is about everyone doing their part to make sure our online lives are kept safe and secure. The Internet is a resource we all share and securing it is our shared responsibility, which is our theme for the month.
We are thankful to the many companies, organizations and schools that actively do their part to educate the people around them during October, especially companies like Microsoft. Microsoft has been an invaluable partner in National Cyber Security Awareness Month and this year is no different.
We’ll be partnering with Microsoft on activities across the country, including our National Cyber Security Awareness Month Launch and Business Security Summit in Omaha, Nebraska on Oct. 1. We’re also partnering with Microsoft and @Safer_Online for a Twitter Chat on Oct. 25 on cybersecurity education efforts and how to raise good digital citizens.
If each of us does our part—implementing stronger security practices, raising community awareness, educating young people to become good digital citizens and training employees—together we will be a more resilient and safer digital society.
Creating a safer and more secure Internet begins with STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Take security measures, understand the potential consequences of your actions and behaviors and enjoy the benefits of the Internet. It also means:
· Keeping a Clean Machine and making sure your devices are malware- free and have updated software, Web browsers and operating systems.
· Owning Your Online Presence by setting security and privacy settings on websites to your comfort level for information sharing.
· Throwing Out Suspicious Links in emails, advertisements, social media posts and other communications.
· Being a Good Digital Citizen and posting only about others as you would have them post about you.
Getting involved in National Cyber Security Awareness Month is easy – even if you only have five minutes to spare. Here are some ways you can make a difference this National Cyber Security Awareness Month:
· Hold a “family conference” to discuss how each member of the family can help to make their personal computer and other online devices safe from cyberattacks. Read through and discuss the suggestions from the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. tip sheet. (Download at http://staysafeonline.org/stop-think-connect/tips-and-advice.)
· Post online safety tips and reminders about National Cyber Security Awareness Month as status updates on your social media networks. We’ve pre-written 31 status updates – one for each day of October! (Download them here: http://www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam/get-involved/social-media)
· Send an email to friends and family informing them that October 2012 is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and encourage them to visit the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. website and Facebook page.
· Display the National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) poster in your school, office, community center or religious institution. (Download them here: http://staysafeonline.org/ncsam/promote-ncsam.)
For more ways to show your support, visit: http://www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam/get-involved/.