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Fact Sheet: National Cyber Security Awareness Month

This fall marks the fifth annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month. The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) National Cyber Security Division (NCSD) is once again actively engaging public and private sector partners through events and initiatives to increase overall awareness and minimize vulnerabilities.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month

The more the public understands the nature of cyber threats, the more empowered they are to act. National Cyber Security Awareness Month is a campaign designed to educate all citizens and key public and private sector partners on cyber threats and how to safeguard themselves at home, work and school. NCSD leads the campaign in partnership with the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.

This year, 28 state governors signed a proclamation in recognition of National Cyber Security Awareness Month and 51 endorsements were provided by companies, non-profits, universities and government agencies. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution declaring October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

DHS is responsible for safeguarding our country’s critical infrastructure from physical and cyber threats that can jeopardize our national security and economic prosperity. Our critical infrastructure depends on information technology systems and computer networks for essential operations. Because no single entity owns the Internet, cyber security preparedness is the responsibility of all Internet users.

Tips for Staying Safe Online

All citizens can follow a few simple guidelines to keep themselves safe in cyberspace. In doing so, they not only protect their personal assets but also contribute to the security of cyberspace.

  • Install anti-virus software, a firewall, and anti-spyware software to your computer, and update as necessary.
  • Create strong passwords on your electronic devices and change them often. Never record your password or provide it to someone else.
  • Back up important files.
  • Ignore suspicious e-mail and never click on links asking for personal information.
  • Only open attachments if you’re expecting them and know what they contain.
  • Additional tips are available at http://www.staysafeonline.info/.

2007 National Cyber Awareness Month Accomplishments

Building on the department’s first three cyber security awareness campaigns, the 2007 National Cyber Security Awareness Month campaign was the most successful to date.

  • Awareness activities during the month captured the attention of more than 133 million Americans, an increase of over 43 million from 2006.
  • Fifty-one government agencies, corporations, non-profits, and universities participated, an increase from 43 such organizations in 2006.
  • The campaign became international for the first time with Canada’s declaration of October 2007 as National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

Additional National Cyber Awareness Month Resources

For more information, please visit the following Web sites:

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