October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and the Department of Commerce – in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security’s Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign – is highlighting the importance of cybersecurity and online safety.
This October, the Department of Commerce is proud to participate as a partner in National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), an effort from coast to coast to make cyberspace safer for everyone. NCSAM is an occasion to educate and engage Americans on cybersecurity issues through events, communications and outreach activities across the country.
The internet now touches every aspect of our daily lives. By spending more time online, we are also exposing ourselves to cyberthreats and the vulnerabilities present in technology and the internet.
While we enjoy the conveniences in our digital lives, these benefits come with great risks. Cybercrime is on the rise – including identity and intellectual property theft, scams, frauds, network intrusions and financial crimes – and it is essential that all Americans know how to protect themselves and their workplaces while online.
Even small actions can make a huge difference in defending from cyber threats. Here are some simple tips everyone can follow to keep themselves, their identities and their information safe online:
- Set strong passwords that are long but simple and memorable. Don’t share them with anyone.
- Use two-factor authentication when possible. After logging into a system with a username and password, many systems have an option to further confirm your identity with a code sent to your mobile device or email account.
- Treat your personal information (birthday, address, phone number, etc.) like money – value it and be cautious about how apps and websites collect it from you.
- Regularly update the software on your internet-connected devices – including PCs, smartphones, and tablets – to reduce the risk of infection from malware.
- Control and limit who can see your information online by checking the privacy and security settings on your accounts, devices and apps.
- Be cautious about what you receive or read online – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Talk with your family, friends and community about the importance of internet safety.
Cyberspace promises tremendous opportunities for our country and we each play a part in keeping it safe – even small actions can make a huge difference in keeping the internet safe. Together we can meet the cybersecurity challenges of the future.
You can learn more about National Cyber Security Awareness Month and how you can be safe online at www.dhs.gov/ncsam. To receive cybersecurity tips year round, visit www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect and sign up to get email updates from the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign.