Celebrated every October, National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) – #CyberAware – was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure that all Americans have the information they need to stay safer and more secure online. This year marks the 13th annual NCSAM, co-founded and co-led by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), the nation’s leading nonprofit, public-private partnership focused on cybersecurity education and awareness.
According to a September 2016 survey by HSB, more than one-third of U.S. consumers have experienced a computer virus, hacking incident or other cyber-attack in the last year. With cybercrime an ongoing challenge, NCSA and DHS work throughout the year to promote awareness about internet safety and the importance of being a responsible digital citizen. During NCSAM, these actions and efforts come into full focus, creating a moment in time for internet users – in America and across the globe – to reflect on measures we’ve taken to stay safe online and find meaningful ways to improve them. Since its inception, NCSAM has grown exponentially, reaching consumers of all ages, small and mediumsized businesses, corporations, educational institutions and nonprofits nationwide. Its growth comes at a time when cybersecurity is an increasingly vital subject, and recent initiatives and support from the White House have helped draw greater attention to the issue, particularly for consumers.
For this reason, NCSAM 2016 will focus on the various ways individuals can protect themselves while online – whether in the home, at the office or while on the go – work to empower businesses to create a culture of cybersecurity in the workplace, and explore cybersecurity as we enter the age of the Internet of Things. NCSAM strives to instill the idea that by working together to protect the internet, we – and our nation’s economy and critical infrastructure – will be safer and more secure. Underpinning the month-long initiative to educate consumers and businesses everywhere is STOP. THINK. CONNECT, the global online safety education and awareness campaign. Cofounded by NCSA and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) and supported by DHS’ federal engagement, STOP. THINK. CONNECT. is based on simple, actionable advice that anyone can follow by taking security precautions, thinking about the consequences of their actions online and enjoying the benefits of the internet.
In recognition of how valuable the internet is to our daily lives and the collective effort needed to protect it, the theme for the month, as it has been since 2009, is “Our Shared Responsibility.” Because no individual, business or government entity is solely responsible for securing the internet, everyone must play a role in securing their part of cyberspace, including the devices and networks they use. If everyone does their part – implementing stronger security practices, raising community awareness, educating young people or training employees – our digital society will be safer and more resistant from attacks and more resilient if an attack occurs.
- This resource first appeared in the published in the DHS website.
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