Whether used for class assignments, data collection, or routine communication, the Internet is a critical resource for today’s higher-education community—and as a college administrator, you can play an essential role in ensuring that this digital resource remains safe and secure at your college or university.
A great place to start is by participating in National Cyber Security Awareness Month, held in October 2012. Even if you have just one hour to devote to this nationwide observance or decide to make a larger time commitment, you’ll be sure to find at least one activity from the list below that can make a big difference!
What You Can Do…
…in less than One Hour:
- Email the National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) poster and/or the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. awareness posters to all campus administrators, dean of students, housing manager, and other campus leadership to encourage them to display the poster by October 1, 2012 throughout your college/university campus to help promote the month and cybersecurity. (Download the NCSAM poster at http://www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam/promote-ncsam/; find the awareness posters at http://staysafeonline.org/stop-think-connect.)
- Email the college/university president, the dean of students, academic deans, and other school administrators about National Cyber Security Awareness Month and encourage them to integrate messages about “our shared responsibility” in maintaining cybersecurity in their written communications, blogs, and presentations to students, faculty members, and other college/university personnel during October. (For more resources, visit http://www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam/about/.)
…in less than One Day:
- Schedule a meeting with your director of security or chief of your campus police department to discuss ways you can partner on strengthening the cybersecurity of your campus. Include cybersecurity as an agenda item in an upcoming staff or faculty meeting.
…in less than One Week:
- Launch a campus-wide/university-wide awareness campaign, by (1) using your social media vehicles (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, YouTube accounts) to promote National Cyber Security Awareness Month, (2) posting information and banners on your university/college Web site, and (3) encouraging your educational community to “friend” the National Cyber Security Alliance at www.facebook.com/staysafeonline to ensure that you get the latest NCSAM announcements and news. (Resources can be found at http://www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam/get-involved/social-media.)
- Ask the board of trustees to pass a formal proclamation in support of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, observed nationwide in October 2012.
…in less than One Month:
- Hold a “Cybersecurity Day” event on campus during the month of October and have your IT personnel or computer sciences department give presentations on smart computer practices and campus online security measures. Distribute tools and tips available from the National Cyber Security Alliance. (For resources, visit http://staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online.)
- Hold a campus poster/video contest in which students create public service announcements and other outreach materials to educate their peers using the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. or “Shared Responsibility” themes.
…All Year Round:
- Develop and implement a campus-wide policy to notify students, faculty, and staff in the event of an online data breach. (For guidelines, visit www.debix.com/workbook/index.php.)