National Cyber Security Alliance Encourages Internet Users to Improve Online Safety Habits Year-Round; Applauds October Awareness Month as Widespread Success

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Each year for the last decade, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have led National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). The annual theme, "Our Shared Responsibility," conveys everyone's responsibility for making the Internet safer and more secure.

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The recently completed 2013 awareness month's activities reflected a strong commitment by government, industry and non-profits to ensure every Internet user has the information they need to stay safer and more secure online. Organizations large and small across the nation held events, released education materials, and took steps to educate customers, constituents and citizens.

The STOP. THINK. CONNECT campaign was central to many of the awareness and education activities. STOP. THINK. CONNECT. has a simple and actionable message: Take safety and security precautions, understand the consequences of your actions and behaviors and connect and enjoy the Internet.

While assembling data and metrics for the month will take some time, preliminary social media numbers demonstrate some of its reach.  Both National Cyber Security Awareness Month and the #ncsam hashtag experienced tremendous volume during the month. The weekly #ChatSTC Twitter chats proved quite popular and reached more than 1.7 million people throughout the month.  In addition, more than 340 companies, schools, municipalities and non-profit organizations signed up as champions of the month, demonstrating their commitment to keeping people safe online.

Many organizations released new high-quality materials during the month as well. A sampling of those resources that will continue to be available throughout the coming year include:

"National Cyber Security Awareness Month has shown year after year that by working together we can reach many millions of people and businesses with basic information on online safety," said Michael Kaiser, executive director of NCSA. "This year, we also saw the expansion of the effort outside of the United States through the coordinated release of STOP. THINK. CONNECT. mobile security tips in October with Singapore, Korea and the EU - a reflection that making the Internet safe, secure and trusted is a global initiative."

While NCSAM happens once a year, staying safe online requires using good online safety behavior every day and especially during the holiday shopping season. A recent poll, jointly commissioned by NCSA and PayPal, found that many Americans are still not taking even the most basic of safety precautions with their Internet accessible devices. For example, fifty-six percent of adults don't lock their mobile device with a pin and roughly the same amount (fifty-percent) doesn't know what financial information is stored on their device.  These figures underscore the ever-pressing importance of increased vigilance with online safety.

Full polling results can be found at: http://staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/resources/ along with more information about National Cyber Security Alliance and ways to stay safe online.

About National Cyber Security Awareness Month
This October marked the 10th year of NCSAM, an awareness-raising initiative to increase the resistance to cyber attacks and resilience if a cyber incident occurs. In 2013, President Obama once again issued a presidential proclamation declaring October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month. NCSAM has also been formally recognized by Congress; federal, state and local governments, as well as leaders from industry and academia. The effort of government, industry and others during the month brings online safety and security messaging to millions of people so they are empowered to use the Internet safely and more secure. For more information, visit http://www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam or www.dhs.gov/national-cyber-security-awareness-month.

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 protect 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, Leidos, Symantec, Trend Micro, Verizon and Visa. Visit www.staysafeonline.org for more information and join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/staysafeonline.

SOURCE National Cyber Security Alliance



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