General Online Safety
The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) was thrilled to partner again with RSA Conference 2015 as an association sponsor. RSA Conference (RSAC) is the world's largest global security event, offering a comprehensive platform for sharing intelligence, sparking innovation and encouraging collaboration, with this year's philanthropic focus on keeping kids safe online. Here's a recap of NCSA's involvement in this year's conference.
It is important to be mindful of what pieces of information can be traced back to us as individuals and know what can be discovered about us by performing a simple online search. By being in the know, we have the power to protect our online reputations, which subsequently protects us offline.
The National Cyber Security Alliance is a partner of The Sisterhood of Night, a new film about friendship and loyalty in the Internet age and a quiet suburban town becoming "the backdrop for a modern-day Salem witch trial." Those who watch the film, which will be released in theaters and online April 10, will be encouraged to continue the conversation online and educate themselves and others about online safety using resources like the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. tips.
The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) recently hosted "Always On: Digital Main Street," an event and panel discussion of the implications of the changing small business and startup landscape when it comes to how these businesses use technology.
It's possible for users to limit their risk and improve their information technology control with a few simple steps. Here are three ways to keep technology from turning on you.
If you have young kids who are spending time online--and these days, most kids are--you may be looking for a way to control what they can access. Here are some basic things you can do to your router and computer to limit your kids' online activities at home and help them stay safe online.
It's important to work just as hard at managing your public image on social media as you do in real life, if not even harder. This may sound daunting, but it's actually not as difficult as it sounds as long as you follow some common-sense precautions. Here are five general recommendations from Techboomers.com for how to keep your life on social media under control.
The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) recently held an event at Google's Washington, D.C. office to share the results of its whitepaper "Identity Theft: #1 Consumer Complaint 15 Consecutive Years," which offers additional insight on the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) 2014 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book.
The closer we get to April 15, the more we'll be scampering around collecting receipts and crunching the numbers in hopes of receiving tax refunds. At the same time, cybercriminals and scammers will be working on ways to separate people from their hard-earned money. Learn how you can help prevent bad things from happening around the submission of your taxes.
A new Microsoft-sponsored study released today by the by the UK-based Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) reveals data adults and especially parents should know. Across the globe, young people are taking and sharing nude photos and videos of themselves, and the behavior is being exhibited by even younger age groups. How do we react to these findings in a meaningful way?
The best way to tackle the wave of digital lawbreakers is to master the basics yourself. This quick guide to online safety will help you avoid becoming another victim in a long line of cybercrime and inspire confidence for you and your family to surf the Web safely.
OnGuardOnline.gov has some tips to help you protect your laptop - and the valuable stuff on it.
Valentine's Day is around the corner, and yes, romance is in the air. But the month of love also celebrates Safer Internet Day on Feb. 10. Show how much you care by sharing this short online safety Q&A with your loved one.
This Safer Internet Day, learn how you can identify and avoid falling victim to phishing attacks.
Almost anything we do can now be done over the Internet: pay bills, shop for appliances, go banking, apply for jobs or make appointments. But these websites with your personal information in their databases can be potential threats as well. So how can you protect your identity?
Safer Internet Day (SID) is a global initiative organized by Insafe in February of each year to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially among children and young people across the world. This year, SID is on February 10. Join us as we talk about online safety for #SID2015 and what you can do year-round to keep yourself and your family safer and more secure online.
Passwords have been used for thousands of years. They are still here today, though, and have proved their staying power.
The FIDO Alliance recently held a breakfast event to discuss its efforts to strengthen online authentication, its explosive growth in membership since its inception in 2012 and its recently released specifications. Additionally, the event featured a panel discussion of "the good, the bad and the ugly" of replacing passwords.
The Internet is a big place where it's possible to come in contact with all sorts of people, many of them only looking out for their own interests. Fortunately, there is a good deal of technology devoted to making it possible for kids to surf, play games and shop for toys when the proper controls are in place. Here are some easy ways to give your kids safe access to the Internet.
A debilitating cyber attack on the U.S. electrical grid has yet to make headlines, but utility companies, federal agencies and state and local governments are increasingly engaged in dialogue and training around that eventuality, according to panelists at a recent discussion hosted by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.
The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) recently held an event at Google's Washington, DC, office to release the results of its study, Identity Theft: The Aftermath 2013. ITRC's study features a look into identity theft through the eyes of a victim, and its results provide a snapshot of the victim experience.
While Internet security is a pervasive issue for all industries, schools deserve some extra attention. Along with the increased need for bandwidth to access online courses and tools, students and teachers are all too quick to share personal information through the internet. Schools need to carefully plan their network security in much the same way they plan their physical security. There has to be a good balance between access and security.
The Project to Get Older Adults online (Project GOAL) and the Time Warner Cable Research Program on Digital Communications recently held an event to release and discuss “Closing Online Access Gaps for Older Adults,” a paper that examines the ongoing challenges of broadband access and adoption for older adults. The event featured a summary of the paper’s findings and a panel discussion of both the challenges faced with getting older adults online and the potential solutions that can help close this digital divide.
Google recently held a “Security at Scale” event, part of a series designed to provide insight into how the technology company works to protect its users and their information and make the Internet safer for everyone.
As we celebrate the 9th annual National Health IT (NHIT) Week (Sept. 15-19, 2014), it is a good time to remember the importance of and the relationship between cyber security, online safety and health IT. Healthcare organizations are constantly advancing in technology, and because they handle sensitive patient information it is especially important for health organizations to have strong cyber security practices.
The growth of the Internet has introduced us to a much easier and convenient way of life. The Web has become our source of information, facilitates easier shopping and media consumption and allows us to connect with people on social media sites. Although social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram provide convenient, beneficial features, it is important to understand their security and privacy implications and be smart about what you post on social media.
In a phishing scam, a cybercriminal sends an email that attempts to fraudulently acquire the recipient’s personal information. Learn more about phishing and what you can do about email vulnerabilities.
As the new school year approaches, it is important for families to brush up on online safety and ensure they are staying safe online. Here are a few ways you can protect yourself and your family this school year.
The LGBT Technology Partnership & Institute recently released a research paper, "An LGBT Broadband Future," which discusses the specific technological needs affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities and explores potential solutions to the technology-related issues they experience.
Information about your physical activity, daily habits and physical location are some of the most personal and sensitive details about you yet most of us are unaware of all the places our data may go on a given day.
Why are tablet owners the top target of identity thieves? One reason is the unique design features of tablets make them perfect for sharing.
In honor of World Password Day, STOP. THINK. CONNECT. held a password Twitter chat with Intel Security, McAfee, Microsoft and other guests.
Cloud computing is used by virtually every organization because it's a convenient way to use applications and share data in a web-based environment. But there are also risks to consider, says Private WiFi's Jared Howe.
Private WiFi's Jillian Ryan delves into the data from its latest study by Harris Poll identifying WiFi users, practices and risks, and shares it all in a new infographic. A version of this blog appeared on Private WiFi's blog on April 3.
By now, we hope you know that hackers can steal your sensitive information any time you connect to a public WiFi network. But what you may not know is how fast they can do it. That's what WAFB 9 demonstrated in a hacking experiment on a university hotspot in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. What happened should be a wakeup call for hotspot users everywhere.
Recent surveys have revealed how generations view and address online safety and security concerns differently, writes Private WiFi's Jared Howe. A version of this blog originally appeared on Private WiFi's blog on March 6, 2014.
This Tuesday, February 11th, is Safer Internet Day, a worldwide awareness effort to make the Internet a safer place and to harness the power of the Internet for good.
Today, Target announced that has NCSA joined a coalition Target is creating with the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA), and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to initiate an education campaign to help people stay safer online.
"The coming addition of 1,400 new top-level domains will launch exciting, new online business models and experiences for Internet users," says NCSA's Ryan Pretzer. "But the expansion will also increase the potential for cybersquatting. If we are to limit consumer fraud and confusion, businesses and the public must be made aware of its dangers."
Online shopping definitely has its perks: the ability to get all of your holiday shopping done with a click of the mouse or a swipe of your finger, skipping the long lines, and avoiding fights over parking spots. But online shopping also comes with risks like phishing attempts, malware and even identity theft.
If you could ask a hacker how to protect yourself from his or her intrusions into your devices and data, what would you ask? McAfee's Taylor Tompkins details her first encounter with a white-hat hacker.
There is probably no technology that has changed the way we stay connected more profoundly and completely than the rise of the mobile Internet. As we move forward with our education and awareness efforts to make Internet users – and by extension, the Internet as a whole – safer and more secure, we’re paying particular attention to the powerful computing devices that so many of us carry in our pockets.
Tiffany Barrett, program manager of Data Privacy Day, highlights "Stop. Think. Is this TMI?", a new campaign by NCSA board member company Intel designed to encourage users to not overshare personal information online.
Karen Clark of SecurityChoice.com looks at how pop culture, and one summer movie in particular, opens the door to talking to pre-teens and teens about safe online behavior.
Tech consultant Geoff Kenyon offers five ways to protect your personal information when connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, including a digital security quiz to evaluate how well you safeguard your identity.
At NCSA, we want to make sure that you and your family do all they can to transition into a safer and more secure summer online. We're celebrating Internet Safety Month with two Twitter chats and by encouraging everyone to STOP. THINK. CONNECT.
We're excited to announce that we'll be working with the LGBT Technology Partnership to encourage greater awareness about online safety issues affecting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender communities.
Jeff Bermant, Founder and CEO of Virtual World Computing, offers a number of tools and tips to provide for safe web browsing and to protect children from victmization, online and off.
The Safer Online Teen Challenge is a contest where teens can teach others how to stay safer online by creating a song, video, skit or other original work.
Getting a backup can be a hard thing to do because you don't know where to start. But don't give up just yet!
One of our goals at the National Cyber Security Alliance is to empower people with tools and resources to stay safer online. So we’ve created a list of five, easy New Year’s resolutions so that everyone can have a safe and secure 2013. And we promise, these won’t be nearly as hard as losing those extra pounds!
The National Cyber Security Alliance wishes you and your family a happy and cyber-safe holiday season!
We recently partnered with STOP. THINK. CONNECT., the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Communications Commission, Lookout, CTIA and other guests to discuss mobile security tips and a new tool to ensure your smartphone is secure. Here's a partial transcript of the chat.
Protection and separation of personal and public data in transit, in storage and at rest should not require extensive education and behavioral modification.
Symantec's mission to inspire confidence in a connected world requires that we ensure both our own operations and those of our customers are safe and secure. As the leading global information security company, this is not an easy task.
We recently partnered with Intel, McAfee, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and STOP. THINK. CONNECT. for a Twitter chat about online safety. Here's a partial transcript of the chat.
Airports, restaurants, coffee shops, businesses, dentists, libraries and even public parks offer public access to Wi-Fi for free. But surfing unsecured hotspots can open your data pipeline to some very unsavory characters.
We partnered with our friends and NCSA Board Member Company EMC/RSA to bring you the Online Identity Risk Calculator. The Online Identity Risk Calculator is game that allows people to find their personal identity risk score and get practical tips on keeping their online identity protected.
We’re thrilled that Facebook, an NCSA Board member company, is continuing the fight against cyberthreats with its launch of email@example.com -- a new email address for users to report any phishing attempts that use the Facebook name or brand. Whenever users receive a questionable email appearing to be from Facebook, they can quickly take action and notify the social media company.
The 2012 Summer Olympics start this week in London. And while athletes from around the world compete for the gold, scammers may be using the Olympics to win their own medals in cybercrime.
A typical child in the 21st century is practically raised on technology.
Facebook is teaming up with several other NCSA Board Member companies to share information and help make the Internet safer everyone.
If you're a parent, you're always thinking about the safety of your children. But how often are you thinking about your child's security and privacy on mobile devices?
In today's hyper-connected society, it seems that everyone knows just about everything about everyone. The amount of personal information we share online is staggering.
Eric Davis is Google's Global Public Policy Manager and an NCSA Board Member. Recently, Google launched “Good To Know,” a campaign to educate people and raise awareness about privacy and security.
When you work with sensitive data, no matter what field you're in, regular cyber security checks are a must. Practicing routine 'cyber hygiene' will help protect against spillage or loss of your sensitive data.
We asked Liz Fraumann to share some of her accomplishments of 2011, resolutions for 2012 and give advice to others who are thinking of starting their own community organizations to promote awareness and education about online safety.
Before you charge up your new mobile device and start downloading apps, you should take a moment to think about cyber safety.
We asked Kristin Judge to share some of her accomplishments of 2011 and give advice to others who are thinking of starting their own community organizations to promote awareness and education about online safety.
Parents are the most often cited source of advice and the biggest influence on teens' understanding of appropriate and inappropriate digital behavior, according to a new report on teens and social network sites from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
We recently featured a blog post about the importance of setting bank alerts to prevent identity theft. Often times, the most convenient option for consumers is mobile alerts, which sends a text message to the account holder when their account is charged.
Last month, we ended National Cyber Security Awareness Month with a landmark event. We signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to formally institute and promote cyber security education programs in K-12 schools, higher education, and career and technical education environments nationwide.
The holiday season is nearly upon us and with it comes decorating, eating and of course, shopping for gifts. If you're thinking about crossing some items of your holiday-to-do list by buying gifts on your smartphone this year, you're not alone.
Is your computer set to automatically check for software and security updates? Do you type your name in search engines to see what personal information is online? Have you customized your security and personal information settings on social networks?
Is your small business safe from hackers, viruses, malware or a cyber-security breach?
Security and accessibility are two crucial items in all telework plans. Will your employees get company-issued equipment, or will they use their personal devices? Will you give them full access, or limit what they can do remotely?
Millions of dollars are spent each year trying to protect business and government assets and networks from cyber attacks.
Now that this unusually hot summer is coming to a close, you may be going back to school with a new computer, or you may be the parent of such a student. No doubt you know that you should install a good antivirus program. What more do you need to know? Ever heard of rogue antivirus? If you use a PC, you are particularly vulnerable to this pernicious attack.
Over the last year, a trend has emerged in these complaints: consumers are being increasingly victimized by online businesses that aggressively market their services as one thing but bury in the fine print their actual services, which are far less desirable.
Today, the Department of Commerce released a study about the gender gap of women in STEM careers.
Reputable software publishers want you to use their software and recommend it to other people. This is why they spend money creating a quality product with good technical support.
Whether you are traveling for work or pleasure, the last thing you want to think about is having your identity stolen.
One of the opportunities I have had in the past couple of years is to represent AT&T in the development of the recently launched STOP. THINK. CONNECT. cyber security awareness campaign.
There are steps that we can take to help prevent things like cyberbullying on social networking sites.
Google reveals that a phishing campaign directed at Gmail users originates out of China and offers protection advice
Of course it's not surprising that the bad guys would go after Gmail accounts. Any pathway to personal information is a target for cybercriminals in their malicious attempts to exploit personal information for monetary or other gain.
Mayor Bloomberg has noble intentions in making New York City the world's highest-ranking digital city and with the recent release of, “Road Map for the Digital City: Achieving New York City's Digital Future,” he underscored this goal even further.
While finding a job today is hard, job-related scams and schemes seem to be all around us. To prevent job seekers from going through the pain of dealing with some of the more common online job scams, the SiteJabber community has flagged some common types of sites that are best avoided.
This morning the National Cyber Security Alliance released its 2011 State of Cyberethics, Cybersafety and Cybersecurity Curriculum in the U.S. Survey . The survey has been sponsored for the last two years by Microsoft.
This week in a blog posting Brendon Lynch Chief Privacy Officer, Microsoft (Microsoft is an NCSA Board member company) announced the publication of Building Global Trust Online: Policy Perspectives on Privacy, Security, and Safety.
In 1988, the Social Security Administration initiated a project that enabled parents to obtain Social Security numbers for their newborns. By 1989, the program was expanded nationwide. Since that time, millions of newborns have received Social Security numbers. This makes them prime targets for identity theft.
For the past several days, consumers have been bombarded with news about a major data breach affecting Epsilon, the online marketing unit of Alliance Data Systems Corp.
Being a victim of fraud can be an overwhelming experience for anyone. Not only do you have to worry about the financial implications of the fraud, many people feel embarrassed for having fallen victim.
Selling identity theft protection has become a big business. Consumers are constantly being offered different forms of identity theft protection online or through their banks or credit cards.
The Internet has opened many new ways to solve old problems. One of those is meeting the person of your dreams through an online dating service. Of course, this time of year as Valentine's Day rapidly approaches, some people may step up their the activities to find their soul mate.
At NCSA we have always framed cybersecurity as a combination of tools and behavior. We advocate for users to do the most they can to take control of their online lives and stay safe online.
McAfee (an NCSA board member company), has just released a report entitled “A Good Decade for Cybercrime: McAfee's Look Back at Ten Years of Cybercrime.”
While much of the attention this past week is directed to all the new cool gadgets being released at CES that will connect us with the Internet, there was a significant announcement out of the White House and the Department of Commerce that should help us all stay safer and more secure online.
Many parents, grandparents and guardians will be making a young person's dreams come true this holiday season with the gift of technology. Many screams of joy will be heard over a new smart phone, computer, tablet or gaming system. Giving the gift of gadgets should also come with a focus on safety and security. Adults play a pivotal role in teaching safety and security to children and technology is no different. Start by teaching children to STOP. THINK. CONNECT.
So you have done your homework on how to protect your computers and network, spent time and money on implementing security products, trained your staff, children, and spouse on the best practices and procedures to follow while surfing the web and using email, but what is your plan for managing the data residing on the retired equipment that you're disposing of?
The NCSA would like to highlight a great new resource from ConnectSafely.org and the iKeepSafe Coalition called “A Parents' Guide to Facebook.” The 35-page guidebook, written by ConnectSafely co-directors Anne Collier and Larry Magid, both long time experts in online child safety, uses easy-to-follow illustrations, step-by-step instructions, and simple language to inform parents how they can help their kids use Facebook safely.
Today, NCSA and VISA announced the results of a survey of 1,000 American small businesses. The results are eye opening.
(ISC)2, the world's largest information security professional body, has been a long-time supporter of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) and the goals of the National Cyber Security Alliance. We wish to thank the NCSA for their gracious invitation to have us post on their site today.
When we released the results of the annual NCSA/Norton Online Safety Study a couple of weeks ago, there was a lot of data to sort through.
NCSA and Norton by Symantec released their annual Online Safety Studysometimes referred to as the home user study.
Daily deal sites such as Groupon and Living Social now commonly pepper Facebook feeds and Pandora wallpaper ads. You may have seen some: “50% off Champagne brunch!” and “$80 in spa services for only $40!” While these daily deals are generally not scams, there are some pitfalls to be avoided.
Today, at the launch of national Cybersecurity Awareness Month, an unprecedented coalition of government, industry and non-profit organizations launched the first-ever public awareness campaign for online safety: “STOP. THINK. CONNECT."
Lawmakers who follow online gambling regulation typically fall into one of two camps — those who think online gambling should be illegal and those who think it should be regulated and taxed.
Google's Family Safety Center provides consumer-friendly insight on how families can enjoy their Internet experience safely and securely.
More travelers are using smartphones and are increasing their use of travel-related applications, according to data from the Ypartnership/Harrison Group .
One of the knock-on effects of the continued bad economy has been a surge in the number of online work-at-home scams reported on SiteJabber. In response to this, we have developed a few resources to help consumers avoid getting scammed.
In a press release today, the National Cyber Security Alliance and the APWG announced the results of research we conducted in collaboration with as part of a joint effort to create a unified consumer message to stay safe and secure online.
In recent weeks, unfair SLAPP lawsuits — in which businesses sue individuals for posting critical comments on consumer review websites — have taken center stage. The latest news is that one woman is being sued by a local Chicago concrete company for complaining about their service online. Now more than ever, it's critical that these suits — designed to intimidate and censor critics through costly legal action — be put to an end.
After a year of meetings and deliberations, the Online Safety and Technology Working Group sent to Congress the report Youth Safety on a Living Internet: Report of the Online Safety and Technology Working Group.
An astounding 70% (2008 survey by Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates) of US consumers consult reviews or consumer ratings before making purchases. Whether you're buying a new digital camera, finding a new dentist, or researching an online pharmacy, user reviews can be a powerful tool to make better choices about which products and services to buy and from whom. However, reviews also have pitfalls. Below are four tips to safely and effectively use online reviews.
President Barack Obama has said that America faces “few more urgent challenges than preparing our children to compete in a global economy.” Being able to understand and make use of the world's vast telecommunications infrastructure is certainly part of that preparation. So it was no surprise when the White House issued its Cyberspace Policy Review last May that the document contained a call for the nation to “initiate a K-12 cybersecurity education program for digital safety, ethics, and security; expand university curricula; and set the conditions to create a competent workforce for the digital age.”
Critical to our success in protecting our digital assets is ensuring that young people consider and seek careers in cybersecurity. We need to build out our math and science curriculum in the K-12 years to ensure that high school graduates have the basic knowledge to build in college.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed a sweeping new anti-bullying bill today that was developed in the wake of the suicide of Phoebe Prince, 15, who was the subject of continuous victimization at South Hadley High School. Nine students have been arrested in the case and await their fate in the criminal justice system.
Sexting, the sending of explicit photos via text message or email, is but the latest example of how new technologies can cause unintended social issues and leave our institutions—schools and law enforcement in this case—without adequate or reasonable policies to respond.
Today, the National Cyber Security Alliance released the 2010 State of Cyberethics, Cybersafety, and Cybersecurity Curriculum in the U.S., which explores teacher, school administrator, and school technology coordinator attitudes toward teaching cyber education topics, what is actually being taught in classrooms, and the level of professional development teachers are receiving in order to teach these topics.
A recent study, Online Reputation in a Connected World by Cross-Tab Marketing Research on behalf of Microsoft (disclaimer Microsoft is an NCSA sponsoring company) finds that more and more companies are conducting online research into a candidate's reputation. Of the U.S. recruiters (study also surveyed recruiters in other countries) and HR professionals surveyed, 70% say they have rejected candidates based on information they found online.
What does stalking have to with cybersecurity? Quite a bit.
Of the many online safety resources available for parents and kids, the Federal Trade Commission's web resources are some of the best. Two new FTC resources continue their efforts to bring useable, comprehensive information to consumers.
A recent New York Times article, Hacked E-Mails Fuel Climate Change Skeptics reports on the public disclosure of emails between scientists in engaged in climate change research in the United Kingdom and the U.S.
At NCSA our goal is to reach all users with education and awareness messages about cyber security. One target audience is college age (17-25) young people.
Thirty-one days has October and every one was put to good use this year during National Cyber Security Awareness Month. It was far and away the best one ever. It will take a while to compile all the results but we do know the hits to our website at least tripled and that organizations and companies endorsing the month also tripled.
Earlier this month, almost 100 people were charged in the U.S. and Egypt as co-conspirators in a phishing ring that managed to siphon off almost $1.5 million from customers of Bank of America and Wells Fargo since 2007. The same week, FBI director Robert Mueller admitted he had almost fallen victim himself to a phishing scam. Score two points for the good guys.
Today, the National Cyber Security Alliance released its firststudy on the cyber security practices of small and medium size businesses (SMBs).
The White House has released a video from President Obama promoting National Cyber Security Awareness Month. The President discusses the theme of our shared responsibility as well as specific cybersecurity tips for all Americans.
Canada recently announced it is using October as a platform for Cyber Security Awareness Month activities.
President Obama, who has championed cybersecurity since taking office, yesterday proclaimed that October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
Senate passes Resolution 285 supporting awareness on the eve of National Cyber Security Awareness Month
On the eve of National Cyber Security Awareness Month the Senate passed Resolution 285 supporting efforts to make the citizens more aware of how to secure the Internet and in support of national Cyber Secuirty Awareness Month.
Do you know what happened on September 2, 1969 just 53 days after Apollo 11 landed on the moon and why it's an important date in Internet history? Well, you should. We all should.
We usually measure how far the digital world has come into our lives through big statistics, such as the number of users on social network sites or the amount of commerce conducted over the Internet. Sometimes there are better measures.
One area of cybersecurity that the public rarely thinks about but is of great concern to government, hardware and software manufacturers, and others concerned with the integrity of cyber space is ensuring that software is free from hidden threats.
At NCSA we believe it's important for everyone to have some understanding of cyber attacks since in fact almost any computer can be used to facilitate such attacks through the use of botnets.
While it may be difficult to prevent other people from publishing or even losing data about you, what you post about yourself is under your control.
A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about the site peoplesdirt—a site designed specifically to amplify rumors, slander, and negative comments between high school students-- and its lack of any redeeming social value.
In many cases, we discuss websites and technology that can be used for many positive purposes but sometimes, without user education, get used to facilitate negative online behaviors as an unintended consequence. Some common examples include providing excess amounts of personal information on a social networking site and putting yourself at risk of identity theft, or the use of email, IM, or texting to forward private information about another person.
An article in today's Washington Post about sexting (sending sexually explicit photos by cell phone) accurately portrays the difficulties schools, law enforcement, and prosecutors have when new uses of technology don't necessarily fit into laws and polices already on the books. Often young people embrace technology and find new, and sometimes negative uses, before parents, schools, and the community have the opportunity to proactively respond.
As we have seen during the financial crisis and recent natural disasters, scam artists, phishers, and other cyber criminals use the day's headlines to lure people to sites that deposit viruses and malware (malicious software such as spyware) or try to get you to reveal personal information or buy something you don't need or can get somewhere else for free.
The Cyber Security Awareness Volunteer Education Project is an effort to help fill the tremendous gap in K-12 education of Internet safety and Security. NCSA is calling all IT professionals who want use their expertise to give back to their community to get involved.
At NCSA, one of our major focus areas is encouraging small and medium size businesses to do more to secure their business data, customer data, and intellectual property. Sometimes it's easy for a small or medium size company to think we really don't have anything of value, we are small and we won't be target, or the cost of securing our systems is not worth it.
One of the main arsenals we have to fight cybercrime and cyber criminals are collaborative, coordinated efforts between tech companies, law enforcement, and prosecutors. Cybercriminals, like all criminals, are opportunistic. If they see an opportunity to get away with a crime because it won't be investigated or prosecuted, they will seize it.
Phishing is still a thriving criminal enterprise. The release of the 2008 RSA Online Fraud report confirms the ongoing problem of phishing in cyber space (disclosure: EMC is a NCSA Board member and RSA is an EMC company). According to the report the volume of phishing attacks during 2008 grew 66% over those attacks detected throughout 2007.
At NCSA, we are true believers about the capacity of the Internet to be transformative to our daily lives. Whether it's the convenience of online banking, shopping at 3 AM in pajamas, networking with friends and family, or starting a new web-based business, the Internet has opened up new worlds.
Today, NCSA is pleased to announce the launch of a new partnership with CyberSmart! The CyberSmart! Cyberbullying Package is a positive and empowering suite of K-12 lessons provided free to schools.
By taking a few simple steps as you get started you can make your new PC as safe as is fun.
When it comes to cybersecurity, our nation's students and teachers are flying blind and have not received the basic education needed to keep them safe online.