National Cyber Security Awareness Month in October to Focus on Shared Responsibility for All Digital Citizens in Securing the Internet

Sep 29, 2011, 09:00 ET from National Cyber Security Alliance

Extensive Agenda, Event Schedule and New Research to Highlight Increased Need for Online Safety and Security

WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), a non-profit public-private partnership focused on cybersecurity awareness and education for all digital citizens, announces the 8th annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month to be held throughout October.  National Cyber Security Awareness Month is a coordinated national effort focusing on the need for improved online safety and security for all Americans. This year's theme, "Our Shared Responsibility," emphasizes that everyone has a role in securing their part of cyberspace, including the myriad of devices, such as smart phones and tablets, and the networks they use.  

NCSA, along with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, has sponsored National Cyber Security Awareness Month every October since its founding in 2003. Together, these three organizations strive to empower consumers, schools, businesses and government agencies to stay safe online, devoting the full month of October to public awareness and education.  

NCSA continues to build upon an expansive agenda for this year's National Cyber Security Awareness Month, targeting new audiences and partnerships.  In addition to traditional themes such as cyber security practices in the household and education, the month's activities will explore how cyber security impacts and affects law enforcement, small businesses, the U.S. workforce and professional development.  In addition to the variety of online safety awareness activities throughout the month, NCSA will offer resources to keep the messages of online safety and security resonating with digital citizens throughout the year with the STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ campaign.  STOP. THINK. CONNECT. is the first-ever coordinated message to help all digital citizens stay safer and more secure online created by a coalition of private companies, non-profits and government organizations. More information can be found at www.stopthinkconnect.org.  

The month-long calendar features a diverse array of NCSA sponsored flagship events as well as other events throughout the nation, beginning October 7th in Ypsilanti, Michigan with Governor Rick Snyder, leaders from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other officials. This official launch event for the month will take place during the Michigan Cyber Summit and will draw highly regarded cyber security experts from around the world. NCSA will also share findings from its annual national survey on the state of security and online safety. This event will also be webcast online via Facebook Live.  For more details or to register, please visit: www.michigan.gov/cybersummit.

NCSA also seeks to promote online safety and security through collaboration with outside entities to strengthen the movement through community involvement.  Many companies, organizations, libraries, universities and others throughout the nation have major activities and offerings planned for October, such as the following:

  • EMC Corporation employees are volunteering their time to teach thousands of children in the U.S. and 16 other nations in the K-12 age group about safe and responsible internet use with the C-SAVE online safety awareness program. EMC is also partnering with Radio Disney to promote cyber security awareness and digital responsibility based on C-SAVE in October and November.
  • McAfee will feature new content on the McAfee® Cybersafety Resource Portal, an online help center designed to assist victims of computer crime and provide information on how to avoid becoming a victim.
  • Facebook will host a Facebook Live CyberEducation event with NCSA, the Department of Education, and Linda McCartney on October 14th at 11am (PDT).  For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/security.
  • Verizon will incorporate NCSA security messaging into its ongoing "Security Leadership" campaign, which in October will provide consumers and businesses with a steady stream of tips and guidance on how to avoid becoming a victim of cyber crime.  The campaign will feature special reports, consumer advisories and expert commentary, all featured on Verizon's various social media channels during the month.  To reinforce the security messaging, Verizon also will undertake a global employee communications effort focused on highlighting Cyber Security Awareness.

A full calendar of National Cyber Security Awareness Month events can be found at www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam.

"National Cyber Security Awareness Month continues to grow stronger every year in our effort to raise awareness for a very simple but powerful message: It's our shared responsibility to protect the Internet and our digital assets," said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the NCSA. "The wide-array of participation – from industry, federal, state and local government and nonprofit organizations -- speaks volumes about the commitment from various communities in making the Internet more safe and secure."

Kaiser added: "As with each previous year, we expect NCSAM 2011 to gain more momentum and we continue to count on the numerous events held across the country to accelerate awareness and provide citizens the tools to stay safer and more secure online. Through support from community residents that are committed to educating those around them, we can continue to reach millions of Americans with the important message about how to protect themselves and the Internet we all share. We encourage everyone to start the month by following NCSA's national campaign for cybersecurity education and awareness and practice STOP. THINK. CONNECT. – three simple steps to keep users safer while online."

"With cyber attacks on the increase, it's important that Internet users better understand how to protect their sensitive information online, whether they are at work or at home," said John Havermann of EMC Corporation and President of NCSA's Board of Directors.  "We are pleased that the nationwide effort to increase cyber security education and awareness continues to gain momentum, particularly as advanced cyber threats become more commonplace and users' traditional information security defenses are challenged."

In addition to activities held throughout the month, NCSA will offer resources to keep the messages of online safety and security resonating with digital citizens throughout the year. The following resources are available on www.staysafeonline.org:

  • Tip Sheets: For small businesses, law enforcement organizations, educational institutions and parents and kids. The tips sheets offer information for online gaming, mobile devices, social networking and general Internet safety tips.
  • An Array of Graphics: Web banners, letterhead, button templates and more are freely available to help anybody conducting activities tied to National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
  • 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.

NCSA encourages all audiences – teachers, employers, families, consumers, and more – to visit the National Cyber Security Awareness Month Web portal for an abundance of information about how to get involved, events, and additional resources to help organizations and individuals participate in the public awareness and education campaign. The Web portal is available at: www.staysafeonline.org.

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 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. NCSA board members include: ADP, AT&T, Bank of America, Cisco Systems, EMC Corporation, ESET, Facebook, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, Google, Intel, Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services, McAfee, Microsoft, PayPal, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Symantec, Verizon and Visa. Visit www.staysafeonline.org for more information.

About National Cyber Security Awareness Month
National Cyber Security Awareness month now in its eighth 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).

About  STOP. THINK. CONNECT.
STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ is the first-ever coordinated message to help all digital citizens stay safer and more secure online. The message was created by an unprecedented coalition of private companies, non-profits and government organizations. The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) and National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) led the effort to find a unified online safety message that could be adopted across public and private sectors. The campaign hopes to achieve for online safety awareness what "Smokey Bear" did for forest fire safety and "Click It or Ticket" did for seatbelt safety, more information can be found at www.stopthinkconnect.org.  

SOURCE National Cyber Security Alliance



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