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October is Cyber Security Awareness Month

September, 26, 2016

Every day, individuals and organizations make decisions that impact their safety and well-being. Often, they are not even aware these decisions are being made.

The President of the United States and Department of Homeland Security have designated October as Cyber Security Awareness month in order to raise awareness and inform the general public about key decisions they can make to improve their digital security and experience. 

The National Information Assurance Training and Education Center (NIATEC) at Idaho State University invites the public to seek out opportunities to become informed and vigilant cyber citizens. To assist with this, Idaho State University and NIATEC will be presenting to classrooms and publishing news articles throughout the month about relevant steps individuals and organizations can take to improve their digital security.

Throughout October, each week is dedicated to a different key focus:
Week 1, “Every Day Steps towards Online Safety with Stop. Think. Connect.” ™ During this week, we encourage you to focus on making conscious choices to add safety to your online experiences by setting strong passwords, keeping security updates current, and thinking about what information to divulge on social media.

Week 2, “Cyber from the Break Room to the Board Room.” This week is dedicated to the importance of vigilance and awareness in the business environment.  By becoming informed about social engineering concerns, safe information practices, and business security policies everyone can help protect business and customer data.

Week 3, “Recognizing and Combating Cybercrime.” Every day, cybercrime has the potential to critically affect us in our daily lives. By becoming informed about ‘phishing’ e-mails, infected websites, and ransomware, each individual can better detect and prevent cybercrime.

Week 4, “Our Continuously Connected Lives: What’s Your ‘App’-titude.” This week, consider the growing ‘internet of things’ and the importance of properly securing smart devices. With each passing day, more and more apps and devices are developed to connect every-day items to our mobile world. While this adds functionality and efficiency, it is important to be informed about security features designed to protect this new frontier.

Week 5, “Building Resilience in Critical Infrastructure.” Oct. 31 provides an opportunity to consider the resiliency of our nation’s critical infrastructure. Inform yourself on ways to sustain the nation’s security, economy and public health systems and help to plan security into future developments.

NIATEC encourages people to become informed this month through public activities and online engagement. Follow #CyberAware before and during the month of October to be aware of organizations that are actively involved in raising cybersecurity awareness. 

For more information, contact NIATEC at lovejohn@NIATEC.isu.edu or visit the DHS NCSAM Campaign at https://www.dhs.gov/national-cyber-security-awareness-month.

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