WASHINGTON, June 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), a non-profit public-private partnership focused on helping all digital citizens stay safer and more secure online, is celebrating Internet Safety Month this June by encouraging all digital users to STOP. THINK. CONNECT. when accessing the Web. Summer break brings increased Internet use and NCSA advises everyone to take security measures, understand the consequences of their behavior and actions and enjoy the benefits of the Internet.
Internet Safety Month is the perfect time for youth and parents to assess and improve their online safety posture. According to Pew Internet & American Life Project's "Teens and Technology 2013 Report," 95 percent of U.S. teens use the Internet and 93 percent have a computer or have access to one at home. Pew also found that 37 percent of teens have smartphones – a 14 percent increase from 2011. These figures give compelling reason for all families to focus on better online safety.
"The Internet is a way of life for many – especially young people," said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance. "As everyone gets ready to enjoy the summer, we encourage parents to take the time to be sure their children are aware of how to stay safer and more secure online by reviewing basic safety tips and good online behavior."
These three easy, actionable steps: STOP. THINK. CONNECT. can help everyone stay safe and secure online and enjoy the benefits of our connected world. Here are some other best practices:
- Keep a Clean Machine: Keep all Internet connected devices free from infection and malware by keeping all critical software—security software, Web browsers, apps and operating systems—up to date.
- Protect Your Personal Information: Secure your accounts by making passwords long, strong and unique.
- Connect with Care: Limit the type of business you conduct using unsecure Wi-Fi hotspots.
- Own Your Online Presence: Set security and privacy settings to your comfort level of sharing.
- When in Doubt, Throw it Out: If an email, social network post or text message looks suspicious, even if you know the source, delete it.
- Be Web Wise: Be wary of communications that implore you to act immediately, offer something that sounds too good to be true or ask for personal information.
- Be a Good Online Citizen: Post only about others what you would have them post about you.
Additional STOP. THINK. CONNECT. tips and advice is available at: www.stopthinkconnect.org. NCSA is also observing the month with two Twitter Chats. A Twitter Chat on online safety tips for the LGBT community in honor of Internet Safety Month and LGBT Pride Month will take place on Thursday, June 13 at 3 p.m. ET with the LGBT Technology Partnership (@LGBTTech), Microsoft (@Safer_Online), STOP. THINK. CONNECT. (@STOPTHNKCONNECT) and other guests. Participants can follow along at #ChatSTC.
A second Twitter Chat about online safety tips for parents will take place on Thursday, June 20 at 3 p.m. ET with ConnectSafely (@ConnectSafely), STOP. THINK. CONNECT. (@STOPTHNKCONNECT) and other guests. For more information about the chats, visit www.stopthinkconnect.org/twitterchats.
June also marks NCSA's starting countdown to the 10th annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) in October. To commemorate the first of many celebrations for the 10th anniversary, NCSA has unveiled a new NCSAM web portal at: www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam. You can also connect with the organization for the latest news and updates on Facebook at www.facebook.com/staysafeonline and on Twitter at @StaySafeOnline.
About The National Cyber Security Alliance
The National Cyber Security Alliance is a non-profit organization. Through collaboration with the government, corporate, non-profit and academic sectors, the mission of the NCSA is to educate and empower a digital citizenry to use the Internet securely and safely protecting themselves and the technology they use and the digital assets we all share. NCSA board members include: ADP, AT&T, Bank of America, Comcast, EMC Corporation, ESET, Facebook, Google, Intel, McAfee, Microsoft, PayPal, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Symantec, Trend Micro, Verizon and Visa. Visit www.staysafeonline.org for more information and join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/staysafeonline.
About STOP. THINK. CONNECT.
The campaign was developed by the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Messaging Convention, a public-private partnership established in 2009 and led by The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) and National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) to develop and support a national cybersecurity awareness campaign. The Department of Homeland Security provides the Federal Government's leadership for the campaign. Industry, government, non-profits and education institutions participate in STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Learn how to get involved at the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/STOPTHINKCONNECT, on Twitter at @STOPTHNKCONNECT, and the campaign website at www.stopthinkconnect.org.
SOURCE National Cyber Security Alliance