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2015 National Cyber Security Awareness Month

2015 National Cyber Security Awareness Month - The Beacon


By: Jackie

2015 National Cyber Security Awareness Month

During this month of October, your BBB joins more than 400 universities, colleges, businesses, government agencies and associations to promote the 12th annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). National Cyber Security Awareness Month is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC). The purpose of the month is to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online. “Our Shared Responsibility” is this year’s  theme for this month.

Each week this month has had a different focus. The focus of this week, Week 4, is “Your Evolving Digital Life.” According to NCSA’s website,, the way we use the Internet has changed. “In the 20th century, the Internet was about how an individual connects. In the 21st century, the Internet will evolve into how everything is connected to the Internet. Our cars are quickly morphing into ‘computers on wheels,’ the fully connected home is nearly a reality and connected medical devices may offer tremendous benefits to our health and safety.” The new challenge will be securing all of these devices within our ever-widening digital world.

Whether we like it or not, even if we are not directly connected to the Internet, it touches almost every aspect of our everyday lives. The Internet holds our financial transactions, our healthcare information, our personal communications, and it directs our transportation systems, emergency response systems, water systems, electrical grid, and others. The more connected we are, the greater the risk of theft, fraud, and disruption of our infrastructure.

According to the DHS website, “As a nation, we face constant cyber threats against our critical infrastructure and economy. As individuals, cybersecurity risks can threaten our finances, identity, and privacy. Since our way of life depends on critical infrastructure and the digital technology that operates it, cybersecurity is one of our country’s most important national security priorities, and we each have a role to play—cybersecurity is a shared responsibility.”

DHS offers some basic security tips that all Internet users can use to practice cybersecurity.

• Set strong passwords and don’t share them with anyone.
• Keep your operating system, browser, and other critical software optimized 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 to avoid sharing information widely.
• Be cautious about what you receive or read online—if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. offers many excellent resources on all aspects of Internet safety from tips and advice sheets to videos to quizzes and games.

For more information you can trust, visit

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Jackie is the Operations and Education Foundation Assistant with the BBB. She assists consumers with business inquiries, and does presentations to senior groups and high school students. She is a regular contributor to the blog.