What is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM)? A collaborative effort between federal and industry leaders to make sure all Americans have the resources needed to stay safe and more secure online. The National Cybersecurity Division within the Department of Homeland security has been observing NCSAM since 2004 with the goal to provide everyone with tips and best practices on how to stay safe online. For October 2018, here are the weekly themes with some tips and tricks that apply:
Week 1: October 1-5: Make Your Home a Haven for Online Safety
- Basic cybersecurity essentials the whole family can deploy!
- Back it Up → Protect your valuable work, music, photos and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely.
- Keep a Clean Machine → Having the latest security software, web browser and operating system is the best defense against viruses, malware and other online threats. Make sure you keep all connected things updated including phones and other smart devices.
- Lock Down Your Login → Usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, bank and social media. Improve account security by enabling strong authentication tools such as biometrics or unique one-time codes (2-factor authentication).
- Personal Information is Like Money. Value it. Protect it. → Info about you, such as your purchase history or location, has value. Be thoughtful about who gets that info and how it’s collected through devices, apps and websites that you use.
- Secure Your WiFi Router → Set a strong passphrase (at least 12 characters long) for your Wi-Fi network. Keep it positive and easy to remember like “ILoveCyberSecurity!!”
- Share with Care → Think before posting about yourself and others online. Consider what a post reveals, who might see it and how it might affect you and others now and in the future.
Week 2: October 8-12: Millions of Rewarding Jobs: Educating for a Career in Cybersecurity
- CyberPatriot helps to inspire young minds towards careers in cybersecurity. Read more: https://www.uscyberpatriot.org/
- NCSA’s Parent Primer for Guiding Kids to careers in cybersecurity is a free resource that you can use at home, school and in your community! https://staysafeonline.org/resource/ncsas-parent-primer-guiding-kids-careers-cybersecurity-2017/
- DHSgov’s Scholarship for Service program can help students on a path towards a cybersecurity career career. Learn more → https://www.sfs.opm.gov/
Week 3: October 15-19: It’s Everyone’s Job to Ensure Online Safety at Work
- STEP 1 to better securing your business → Learn how to identify your digital “crown jewels.” https://staysafeonline.org/cybersecure-business/identify/
- STEP 2 to better securing your business → Build your cyber defenses around your businesses’ critical assets and systems. https://staysafeonline.org/cybersecure-business/protect/
- STEP 3 to better securing your business → Know when something has gone wrong. The more quickly you know about an incident, the more quickly you can mitigate the impact https://staysafeonline.org/cybersecure-business/detect-incidents/
- STEP 4 to better securing your business → Make and practice an incident response plan to contain an attack or incident and maintain business operations in the short term. https://staysafeonline.org/cybersecure-business/respond/
- STEP 5 to better securing your business → Recover from the immediate aftermath of a cyber incident and build out your cybersecurity posture to help prevent future incidents. https://staysafeonline.org/cybersecure-business/recover/
Week 4: October 22-26: Safeguarding the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure
- Turn on multi-factor authentication on at least one online account. Learn how → https://lockdownyourlogin.org/strong-authentication
- When in doubt, throw it out: Links in emails, posts and ads are often how criminals try to steal info and gain access into critical systems. Learn More → https://staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/online-safety-basics/spam-and-phishing/
- November is Critical Infrastructure Security & Resilience Month! Learn about how you can keep these systems more secure. → https://www.dhs.gov/critical-infrastructure-security-resilience-month
- Turn on automatic updates for your key devices. Having the latest security software can help better protect you from online threats and keep our Nation’s critical systems more secure. Get more tips → https://stopthinkconnect.org/resources/preview/tip-sheet-basic-tips-and-advice