Take Action – Cybersecurity Tips
Here are a few steps that you can take to not only participate in National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, but also enhance cybersecurity 365 days a year:
- There are many things businesses, schools, and home users can do to practice cybersecurity during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and beyond.
- Make sure that you have anti-virus software and firewalls installed, properly configured, and up-to-date. New threats are discovered every day, and keeping your software updated is one of the easier ways to protect yourself from an attack. Set your computer to automatically update for you.
- Update your operating system and critical program software. Software updates offer the latest protection against malicious activities. Turn on automatic updating if that feature is available.
Back up key files. If you have important files stored on your computer, copy them onto a removable disc and store it in a safe place.
- Join the National Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign: Stop. Think. Connect.
- Endorse – Demonstrate your commitment to cybersecurity.
- Show your organization’s commitment to cybersecurity and National Cybersecurity Awareness Month by signing the online endorsement form at www.staysafeonline.org.
Create a section for cybersecurity on your organization’s Web site. Download banners at www.staysafeonline.org and post them on your organization’s home page.
- Add a signature block to your e-mail:
“October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Stay Safe Online! Visit www.staysafeonline.org for the latest cybersecurity tips.”
- Educate – Find out what more you can do to secure cyberspace and how you can share this with others.
- Participate in the National Cyber Security Alliance Cyber Security Awareness Volunteer Education (C-SAVE) Program and help educate elementary, middle, and high-school students about Internet safety and security. For more information or to download the C-Save curriculum, visit www.staysafeonline.org/in-the-classroom/c-save.
Review cybersecurity tips with your family.
- Print and post these cybersecurity tips near your computer and network printers.
- Use regular communications in your business—newsletters, e-mail alerts, Web sites, etc.—to increase awareness on issues like updating software processes, protecting personal identifiable information, and securing your wireless network.
- Educate family, friends, peers at www.StaySafeOnline.org
- Learn the fundamentals of cybersecurity, starting with the IT Security Essential Body of Knowledge (EBK)
- For more detailed Tips, read these Tip Sheets from National Cyber Security Alliance
- Report Suspicious Cyber Activity to the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) by visiting https://forms.us-cert.gov/report/ or by calling 1-888-282-0870. You may also visit www.staysafeonline.org/tools-resources/cyber-crime-security-and-safety-reports for more information.
- Get involved in Internet safety initiatives within your community and volunteer through the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) Cyber Security Awareness Volunteer Education Project (C-SAVE).
- Support cyber education and training in schools and collaborative efforts such as the federal Scholarship for Service program.
Here are a few additional resources that can help you to stay safe online and strengthen our collective cybersecurity efforts all year long:
- Know who you’re dealing with
- Keep your web browsers and operating system up-to-date
- Back up important files
- Internet safety for children
- Use security software tools
- Use strong passwords or strong authentication technology
- Learn what to do if something goes wrong
For more information on Awareness Month and for additional material, please visit www.us-cert.gov and www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam.
The Department partners with a number of cybersecurity organizations throughout the year to educate all citizens on the importance of implementing effective cybersecurity practices. These partnerships also make National Cybersecurity Awareness Month possible by uniting public and private sector efforts to secure cyberspace. National Cybersecurity Awareness Month materials and resources can be found at the following sites:
- The National Cyber Security Division outlines the Department’s strategic national cybersecurity objectives.
- The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) offers safety tips, incident reports, and the latest cyber alerts.
- The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is a collaborative effort among experts in the security, non-profit, academic, and government fields to teach consumers, small businesses, and members of the education community about Internet security by providing free tips, checklists, and best practices for remaining safe while online.
- The Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) comprises members of all 50 states, local governments, and U.S. territories and districts, and provides downloadable awareness materials including newsletters, posters, bookmarks, and briefings.
The Federal Trade Commission’s OnGuard Online Web site provides practical tips and downloadable print and Web materials about how to avoid Internet fraud and how to protect personal information.