Cybersecurity Education is a National Imperative - All Internet Users Should Learn New Ways to Stay Safe Online this OctoberNew Online Safety Resources Available from iKeepSafe, NBCUniversal’s “The More You Know,” ConnectSafely and Others During National Cyber Security Awareness Month
Washington, DC, October 15, 2013 – This National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign along with other government, industry and nonprofit organizations are encouraging everyone to improve their online safety habits. Now in its 10thyear, National Cyber Security Awareness Month’s theme is “Our Shared Responsibility,” reflecting the role we all play in being safer online and making the Internet more secure for everyone.
During the week of October 14-20, the focus is cybersecurity education. In order to have a cyber-secure nation, everyone must have the essential skills to use the Internet safely, securely, ethically and productively as well as a workforce of cybersecurity professionals to defend our networks.
There are still gaps in basic behaviors that would protect people and their data. In a recent study commissioned by PayPal and NCSA, nearly 19 percent of Americans said they had never changed their password or pin for an online account without prompting by the service provider and only 34 percent lock their mobile phone with a PIN. These findings reflect the need for continued education and awareness activities around online safety. Full polling results are available at: http://www.staysafeonline.org/.
“The ability to use technology safely and securely is a fundamental life skill in the 21st Century,” said Michael Kaiser, executive director of NCSA. “Since the Internet plays such a large role in modern America – from protecting critical infrastructure to creating jobs – each of us has a responsibility to continuously implement online safety best-practices.”
Making sure young people adopt safe and secure online practices from an early age will be an essential element in our future cybersecurity posture as a nation. Parents can help children learn to use technology and the Internet in productive and safe ways. However, there is a need for resources and support as well. Many organizations have unveiled new educational materials to support parents during and beyond October including:
Additionally, the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. national cybersecurity education and awareness campaign is unveiling its Online Safety Quiz available for free at www.stopthinkconnect.org/resources. The quiz allows participants to assess their online safety proficiency through an interactive, scenario-based layout that focuses on security, ethics, privacy and other online safety topics. The quiz, in a presentation format, is designed for anyone including teachers, parents or volunteers to present online safety information to young people.
Kaiser added, “To be successful, we need a variety of organizations creating quality materials for people of all ages. We’re pleased that so many organizations are rising to that challenge and investing time and resources toward these common goals.”
Aside from these helpful cybersecurity education resources, the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign educates Internet users though basic security principles including keep a clean machine, own your online presence and protect your personal information. The common action step for all Internet users is STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Take safety and security precautions, understand the consequences of your actions and behaviors and connect and enjoy the Internet.
More information and helpful tips are available at www.stopthinkconnect.org. You can also learn more information about staying safe online by participating in #ChatSTC Twitter Chats throughout October. A full listing of Twitter Chats is available at: http://www.stopthinkconnect.org/get-involved/twitter-chats/.
About The National Cyber Security Alliance
About STOP. THINK. CONNECT.
Tola St. Matthew-Daniel