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October Declared Cyber Security Awareness Month
October Declared Cyber Security Awareness Month

By Barry Levine
October 5, 2010 10:31AM

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President Obama has declared October Cyber Security Awareness Month and urged citizens to back up files and keep children safe. The declaration is part of a Global Online Safety Campaign urging digital citizens to protect themselves. McAfee, CyberDefender and Visa are among companies participating in the online security campaign.
 


Appropriately for a month that concludes with a holiday designed around scary things, October has been declared Cyber Security Awareness Month. President Obama recently signed a proclamation and urged everyone to back up files, keep Internet-surfing children safe, and "play an active role in securing the cyber networks we use every day."

National Cyber Security Awareness Month is part of a campaign organized by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and backed by the Department of Homeland Security. The government agency said, "America's competitiveness and economic prosperity in the 21st century will depend on effective cybersecurity."

STOP | THINK | CONNECT

NCSA said October's designation is part of the first Global Online Safety Campaign, called STOP | THINK | CONNECT, which began Monday. The public-private partnership is intended to "help all digital citizens employ universal behaviors to protect themselves," the organization said.

Several companies have initiated specific security-related measures in support of the month.

Digital security firm McAfee, for instance, announced Monday it will expand its initiative to fight cybercrime. The McAfee initiative includes an Online Safety for Kids program, in which its employees and partners volunteer to teach schoolchildren about safety and security online. It also made a cybercrime grant to the National White Collar Crime Center to train more law-enforcement personnel to detect, investigate and arrest lawbreakers.

The cybersafety education program was piloted last year in more than 100 schools, and the company reports it has reached more than 3,000 children. It's being expanded this fall to more schools in the U.S., as well as to other countries.

The initiative was originally announced by McAfee two years ago this month. It includes awards to individuals and organizations, an online resource portal, and an advisory council.

Safety Recommendations

Security software provider CyberDefender has issued guidelines to keep families safe. The recommendations suggest that families set up separate user accounts for shared computers, make sure antivirus security programs are up to date, set up specific times each week to do virus scans on every PC, and talk among family members about smart computing practices.

Other tips from CyberDefender suggest using parental controls, keeping the security software suite running at all times, and calling a technician when problems arise, as opposed to only using software tools.

Visa said it will mark the month with a new web site to help cardholders and small businesses protect account data and avoid scams. It noted that a study from Javelin Strategy & Research found that more than 50 percent of consumers see the responsibility of protecting financial accounts as shared between users and the companies or institutions.

Some tips from the credit-card company include looking for the padlock icon in a browser's status bar and an "s" after "http" in the URL when exchanging confidential information online. Users can also activate "Verified by Visa" to add extra protection during online checkouts, and the company pointed out that Visa never calls users for private account information.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

mike:

Posted: 2010-10-15 @ 11:19am PT
good job

Elijah:

Posted: 2010-10-14 @ 12:14pm PT
more info needed

angel davidson:

Posted: 2010-10-14 @ 12:12pm PT
still confused

jasmine:

Posted: 2010-10-14 @ 9:39am PT
u lost me - explain with more information

vernon:

Posted: 2010-10-14 @ 6:33am PT
its the right thing to do...



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