The Internet is part of everyone’s life, every day. We use the Internet at work, home, for enjoyment, and to connect with those close to us.
However, being constantly connected brings increased risk of theft, fraud, and abuse. No country, industry, community, or individual is immune to cyber risks. As a nation, we face constant cyber threats against our critical infrastructure and economy. As individuals, cybersecurity risks can threaten our finances, identity, and privacy. Since our way of life depends on critical infrastructure and the digital technology that operates it, cybersecurity is one of our country’s most important national security priorities, and we each have a role to play—cybersecurity is a shared responsibility.
National Cyber Security Awareness Month is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity and increasing the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident. October 2014 marks the 11th Annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.
Our Shared Responsibility
Through a series of events and initiatives across the country, DHS engages public and private sector partners to raise awareness and educate Americans about cybersecurity and increase the resiliency of the nation and its cyber infrastructure.
This year, it’s easy to take part in National Cyber Security Awareness Month by participating in any or all of the following weeks. Stay tuned for more information about specific events and resources for each week, including social media resources to help your organization promote each week’s theme.
|Week One: Oct 1-3
Promoting Online Safety with the Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign
|Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, and everyone can take a few simple steps to make the Internet more secure. This week will also highlight efforts related to Executive Order 13636 to strengthen the security and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure.|
|Week Two: October 6-10 Secure Development of IT Products||Building security into information technology products, including the phones, tablets, and computers we use every day, is key to enhanced cybersecurity.|
|Week Three: October 13-17
Critical Infrastructure and the Internet of Things
|Highlights the importance of protecting critical infrastructure and properly securing all devices, including household items, that are connected to the Internet.|
|Week Four: October 20-24
Cybersecurity for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses and Entrepreneurs
|Showcases what emerging and established businesses can do to protect their organization, customers, and employees.|
|Week Five: October 27-31
Cyber Crime and Law Enforcement
|Working with law enforcement to combat cyber crime and educate the public on how to protect themselves from online crime.|
How to Participate
Celebrate NCSAM Throughout the Month
|October 1||Upload the National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) banner on your organization’s homepage with a link to www.dhs.gov/national-cyber-security-awareness-month|
|October 2||Post a NCSAM message on social media to announce the start of NCSAM month – include #NCSAM @cyber|
|October 3||Add a NCSAM auto signature to your emails|
|October 6||Send an email to colleagues/constituents announcing NCSAM|
|October 7||Host a virtual cybersecurity event|
|October 8||Post a NCSAM blog|
|October 9||Become a Friend of the Campaign|
|October 10||Start an online discussion by posting a cybersecurity question on social media – include #NCSAM @cyber|
|October 13||Columbus Day|
|October 14||Share a link to a cybersecurity video on social media – include #NCSAM @cyber|
|October 15||Include cybersecurity information in public remarks such as a speech, intercom announcement, or staff gathering|
|October 16||Submit a cybersecurity story for a newsletter|
|October 17||Share a message about the importance of a strong password on social media – include #NCSAM @cyber|
|October 20||Highlight the topic of cyber careers|
|October 21||Email a cybersecurity tip to your network|
|October 22||Host a poster contest with cybersecurity as the theme|
|October 23||Post a cybersecurity fact or figure on social media – include #NCSAM @cyber|
|October 24||Challenge your followers on social media to become a Friend of the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign – include #NCSAM @cyber|
|October 27||Provide a link on your organization’s website to current news story about the importance of cybersecurity|
|October 28||Host a cybersecurity-related event|
|October 29||Sign up for the US-CERT alert system at http://www.us-cert.gov to receive alerts with timely information about current security issues and vulnerabilities|
|October 30||Host a cybersecurity discussion on social media – include #NCSAM @cyber|
|October 31||Become a Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign partner and keep your cybersecurity and safety efforts going throughout the year|
To get involved in National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2014:
- Stay tuned for more information about each week, including the 2014 Kick-Off.
- Find or register a local event on the official calendar.
- Get information on how your government, law enforcement, business, school, or organization can take action during National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
- Teach elementary, middle, and high school students about Internet safety and security.
- Post cybersecurity tips, news, and resources highlighting NCSAM on social media sites during National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
Year-Round Tips and Resources
Americans can follow simple steps to keep themselves, their assets, and their personal information safe online. Here are a few tips all Internet users can leverage to practice cybersecurity during National Cyber Security Awareness Month and throughout the year:
- 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 family, friends, and community 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.
For tips and resources you can use and share throughout the year, visit the DHS Stop.Think.Connect. Toolkit and find resources for the following demographics:
- Students K-8, 9-12, and Undergraduate
- Parents and Educators
- Young Professionals
- Older Americans
- Small Business
- Law Enforcement
For more information on how to practice cybersecurity during National Cyber Security Awareness Month and throughout the year, visit Stop.Think.Connect.