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October 8, 2019

Privacy Tip of the Week: Support Cyber Security Awareness Month

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October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. This annual observance, often abbreviated to NCSAM was first created in 2004. It’s spearheaded by the US Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, a non-profit organization. Ongoing efforts during the month raise awareness about the importance of digital safety. They also explain the role individuals have to play in keeping the world at large safer from online threats. There are a few different ways internet users can support NCSAM:

  • Protect yourself online
  • Make others aware of NCSAM
  • Support organizations that promote privacy

Protect Yourself Online

Our online safety is only as secure as the weakest link. When one link breaks, it puts us all at risk. A large corporation falling victim to a hack could result in client credit cards being stolen. A friend on Facebook clicking the wrong link could create a chain of spam links sent to thousands. One way of protecting yourself and improving cyber security as a whole is improving how you deal with internet safety. Adjust the privacy settings on your social media accounts, and use a VPN when accessing the web. In addition, increase the strength of your passwords, update your devices regularly, and more.

Make Others Aware of National Cyber Security Awareness Month

In addition to protecting yourself online, one excellent way to improve digital security as a whole is to educate others on their own online safety. Doing so strengthens our resiliency against security threats as a global society. You can do this by talking directly to friends and family, following the social media accounts of cyber safety organizations, and using hashtags like #CSAM, #cyber, and #cybersecurity during October to share privacy and safety-related content.

Support Organizations that Promote Privacy

Cyber security is a team effort. No one person or organization can spread awareness alone. You can help support the agencies creating awareness and improving global internet safety by involving yourself in their initiatives or donating to non-profits if you’re able. A few groups to consider supporting include the Better Business Bureau which helps consumers find reputable groups to do business with, and the National Cyber Security Alliance.

Since 2009, the theme of Cyber Security Awareness Month has been “Our Shared Responsibility.” When we work together, we can make the internet a safer place for all.

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