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National Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Six Things to Do

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By Marissa Bergen
Contributor, InCyberDefense

October means many things. There is the coming of Halloween, cooler temperatures and shorter days. October is also National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM).

Cybersecurity is something that should be on everyone’s mind. Cyber crimes are a real threat and can be extremely inconvenient if you find yourself as a victim. That’s why the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cybersecurity Alliance are spearheading the effort to make everyone aware of cyber threats and to ensure that everyone has the resources to stay safe online.

During this month, EDUCAUSE and the higher education information security community participate join forces with a number of organizations to expand cybersecurity awareness and education on college campuses.

Raising Cyber Awareness in Your Community during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

On a local level, here are some things you can do to show you are doing your part to raise cybersecurity awareness in your community:

  1. Become a NCSAM Champion. Joining the National Cybersecurity Alliance is a great way to show your support in fighting cybercrimes and promoting a safer, more secure Internet. Individuals or companies and organizations of all sizes can sign up for free.
  2. Use the #CyberAware hashtag on social media this month and throughout the year to show your support for the cause.
  3. Register as a STOP. THINK. CONNECT partner. This is also a free and easy process that is available to organizations and individuals. It provides access to a number of educational materials that can be used to co-brand and raise awareness.
  4. Help promote the 15th anniversary of NCSAM. If you write for a campus newspaper or a blog, write an article to raise awareness among your readers. EDUCAUSE’s Security Awareness Campaign materials can help you with relevant content.
  5. Plan relevant events and activities. Whether you are a NCSAM Champion, a STOP. THINK. CONNECT partner or just someone passionate about cybersecurity, relevant events are a great way to spread awareness. A NCSAM Resource Kit can provide you with valuable planning information.
  6. Read about The Adoption of Multi-Factor Authentication in Higher Education to find out how institutions are assisting communities to better protect their data. Registering for the free October 11 EDUCAUSE Live Webinar is another valuable way to increase your knowledge. This event will discuss Utah Valley University’s campus-wide two-factor authentication (2FA) rollout and saturation campaign.

Defending Yourself against Cyber Crime Is an Ongoing Effort

Clearly, there are many things you can do to raise awareness of cybersecurity this month. However, remember defending yourself against cyber crime is a year-round mission. Take advantage of this time to become better educated. Good luck keeping yourself and your community protected!

About the Author

Marissa Bergen is a freelance writer from Brooklyn, New York. Passionate about everything from fashion to technology, her writing experience has increased her awareness of digital marketing, cybersecurity and the ever-expanding World Wide Web. She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children. Google her to find out more about her writing and her other life as a bass player in her family band, The CheeseBergens.


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