WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), a public-private partnership focused on educating a digital citizenry to stay safe and secure online, reminds all Americans that today marks the beginning of the 7th Annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month. National Cyber Security Awareness Month is a coordinated effort of the NCSA, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MSISAC) and a myriad of companies, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations and individuals throughout the nation focused on improving online safety and security awareness and education for U.S. citizens and businesses.
From a personal, business and governmental perspective, our nation's reliance on the Internet continues to grow. The NCSA is focused on helping American citizens, businesses and students understand how to protect themselves, their families, customers and communities with universal safe and secure online behaviors.
"Our nation's online health is critical to our economic prosperity and national security," said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the NCSA. "The highest levels of government and industry have recognized the role that cybersecurity and cyber safety play in our nation's ability to stay competitive and innovative. National Cyber Security Awareness Month provides a cyber education foundation that all Americans can use throughout the year."
The NCSA urges all Americans to employ a handful of simple online safety behaviors:
- Employ comprehensive security suites that include anti-virus, firewall, anti-Spyware and anti-Spam software. Most importantly, set your security software to automatically update.
- Back up your files and data on a regular basis to mitigate any losses in the event of a security failure.
- Only use secure wireless connections that require passwords or other forms of security.
"In this digital age, we are all connected, and each of us plays an important role in securing cyber space," said William Pelgrin, MS-ISAC chair and president and CEO of the Center for Internet Security. "We are pleased to once again join our partners in co-sponsoring National Cyber Security Awareness Month to help raise awareness across government, businesses, educators and citizens about cyber safety. Working together, we can improve our nation's cyber security preparedness."
Anyone - families, employers, consumers, teachers, and students - interested in online safety is encouraged to access the National Cyber Security Awareness Month Web portal. The Web site hosts an abundance of online safety resources and information including tip sheets, ideas for how to get involved, events, and additional awareness resources to help organizations and individuals participate in National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
The portal offers printable materials for schools, businesses, government agencies, law enforcement and consumers as well as electronic materials for organizations to incorporate on their own websites. All NCSA materials are free to the public and there is no cost for endorsements or event listings. Of the many resources on the site you will find:
- Tip Sheets: For online gaming, mobile devices, social networking and general Internet safety tips for parents and kids.
- Customizable Posters: A National Cyber Security Awareness Month poster that can be customized with a company or association logo or a message to help promote local activities.
- Endorsement Forms: Organizations, companies, and government agencies are encouraged to endorse National Cyber Security Awareness Month, which is made easy through an online endorsement form. Endorsers can be featured with their logo and web link on NCSA's website.
- Event Calendar: The NCSA keeps a calendar of events taking place during October that focus on cybersecurity awareness and education. Organizations are welcome to submit events through NCSA's online form to be included on the October calendar.
"We have offered a wide variety of opportunities to learn more about cybersecurity and cybersafety," said Shannon Kellogg, senior director of public policy at EMC and chairman of the NCSA Board of Directors. "All of us need to make a personal investment to continually learn how to keep ourselves and our nation's online defenses safe and secure."
About The National Cyber Security Alliance
The National Cyber Security Alliance is a nonprofit organization. Through collaboration with the government, corporate, non-profit and academic sectors, the mission of the NCSA is to 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 works to create a culture of cyber security and safety through education and awareness activities. Visit www.staysafeonline.org for more information. NCSA board members include: ADP, AT&T, EMC Corporation, Cisco Systems, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Google, Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services, McAfee, Microsoft, PayPal, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Symantec, Verizon and Visa.
About National Cyber Security Awareness Month
National Cyber Security Awareness month now in its seventh year is a coordinated effort of the National Cyber Security Alliance, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MSISAC).
SOURCE National Cyber Security Alliance