(Note: This post also appears at the GSA Blog)
This October, the General Services Administration (GSA) joins the nation in celebrating the 13th annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month, a nationwide effort to educate and engage government and private sector stakeholders and the American public on cybersecurity issues through a variety of outreach and events held across the country.
The internet touches almost all aspects of everyone’s daily life. We shop, bank, connect with loved ones, pay our bills, and manage our medical records online. Our increased connectivity brings extraordinary benefits but also brings increased risks to our nation’s economic and national security. Recent large scale cyber attacks have not only exposed the personal information of millions of Americans but also compromised sensitive information and intellectual property.
National Cyber Security Awareness Month is a collaborative effort between the private and public sector to ensure all Americans have the tools and resources they need to stay safe online. Through events and outreach during the month, National Cyber Security Awareness Month raises awareness about cybersecurity and enlists all Americans to help make the Internet safer and more secure.
This month, we put cybersecurity at the forefront of the national dialogue and renew our commitment to enhancing the security of our nation while preserving a culture that fosters innovation and growth in technology. Cybersecurity is our shared responsibility – we all play a role in making the Internet safer and more secure.
Throughout National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we urge every American to help create a safer and more secure cyber environment by taking steps to keep themselves, their identities, and their information safe online. This includes simple things everyone can do every day, including:
- Set strong passwords with 8 characters or more and a combination of upper and lower case letters.
- Lock Down Your Login by enabling strong authentication options on your sensitive accounts, like for banking and email (https://www.lockdownyourlogin.com).
- Keep your operating system, browser, and other critical software optimized and secure by installing updates.
- Maintain an open dialogue with your family, friends, and community about Internet safety.
- Limit the amount of personal information you post online, and use privacy settings for your apps and social media websites; and
- Be cautious about what you receive or read online; if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
GSA supports the Department of Homeland Security and our Federal partners by proactively advancing cybersecurity awareness through outreach and information sharing. Since the President’s proclamation in 2004, National Cyber Security Awareness Month has been formally recognized by Congress, federal, state, and local governments, and leaders from industry and academia. This united effort is essential to creating a safer, more resilient cyberspace that remains a source of tremendous opportunity and growth for years to come.
For more information on National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2016, please visit ww.dhs.gov/national-cyber-security-awareness-month