National Cyber Security Awareness Month

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October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) and the National Cyber Partnership is proud to announce that we are championing NSCAM to further both awareness of the cyber challenges we face today and the ways we can all participate in securing our devices and the internet we all share together.

The nation has been increasingly under attack by cyber-terrorists, cybercriminals, and unfriendly foreign governments as well as companies who are stealing trade secrets; so the demand for trained cyber workers is growing at a dramatic rate. Filling this gap and strengthening our country's cyber capabilities is a top priority. Spreading awareness is also a top priority, this because we cannot begin to address and solve a problem we do not acknowledge, furthermore if we belittle the problem we face we risk losing the battle before we enter the fight.

NCSAM is in its 13th year of engaging both public and private sector partners to educate the masses about cybersecurity; National Cyber Partnership is standing side by side with our fellow champions to support this mission, to increase our nations resiliency in the events of cyber incidents. President Barrack Obama announced in 2004 the necessity for NCSAM, which has been recognized by industry leaders, academic leaders, Congress, as well as federal state and local governments across the nation. The battle for a safe cyberspace is important for us all to stand united in because of the incredible opportunities that it brings us as businesses, educators, political leaders, entertainers and individuals. The possibilities continue to soar as innovators push the boundaries of the cyber frontier, making advances which allow us to become greater in everything we as people do; and that freedom is worth fighting for!

Recognized every October, NCSAM was created as a collaborative effort between governing bodies and industry to ensure all digital citizens have access to the resources they need to remain safe and increase their security online, including protecting personal information. Last year, NCSAM 2015 saw unprecedented growth, over 700 organizations joined, and produced close to 2,000 news stories; this year is an opportunity to take another step forward. We at National Cyber Partnership want to do our part in creating a safer and more aware cyberspace; in the spirit of that effort we offer some quick and easy safety tips for personal and mobile devices which everyone can take advantage of to boost personal security and help ensure a safer cyberspace for everyone:

  • Keeping your mobile phone and apps up to date: Mobile devices are vulnerable just like your PC and laptops; but installing the most current security software, web browsers, apps and OS's is the best way to defend against viruses, malware and other threats online.
  • Finished with that app? Toss it: Many apps are used for specific purposes, like when tax season comes around, or a game app you haven't touched in months. It is encouraged to uninstall apps which are no longer of any use to you.
  • WiFi hotspots for dummies: Public hotspots and wireless networks are not secure, often they warn you of this before you connect, this because potentially anyone could see what you are doing while you are connected. You should avoid logging in to important accounts like bank accounts or email servers. It is good practice to limit what you do on public WiFi and consider using a personal mobile hotspot or a virtual private network (VPN) for more secure connections when mobile.
  • Wifi and Bluetooth tracking: A lot of people don't know that many stores and local destinations actually look for devices with WiFi and Bluetooth settings turned on and track your devices movements when you are in range of the signals; you can simply turn off these settings while you are not in need of them.
  • What apps say about you: Always keep in mind that apps want access to your information; your contact list, email, the games you play, location and preferred brands are all examples of information in high demand from companies the world round, they are willing to pay, and the apps are willing to give it up.

To learn more about National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, check out the StaySafeOnline.org website.