Have you ever wondered where all those weird holidays come from? Like, who got to decide that April 23rd was National Talk Like Shakespeare Day? Or that Squirrel Appreciation Day would fall on January 21st? Or that the last Friday of every April would be National Hairball Awareness Day? An entire day to make sure that your feline friends aren’t spewing wet clumps of hair on to the floor seems like a waste of time, but do you know what isn’t? An entire month dedicated to cybersecurity. Now that’s a topic worthy of a holiday!
Cybersecurity Awareness Month was created by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance in October of 2004. It was launched in an effort to help Americans to be safe in the rapidly growing Internet. Since its inception, the month has only grown more important as our lives become increasingly digitized. Many high-ranking US officials have been a part of the event including former DHS Secretaries and former Presidents. We are only one of many industry participants who are taking this month to educate our community on the importance of cybersecurity. College campuses, non-profits, and other organizations frequently join in on the fun as well.
This October, we will be participating in Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Throughout the month, we will be giving you integral tips on how to build up your personal and business cybersecurity. Each one of these tips will bring you new avenues for protecting yourself online and will help you build a fortress of digital protections around yourself. Also, stay tuned for weekly blog posts that will give you even more information on how to stay safe online. Make sure that you’re following us on social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) so you don’t miss out on any of the cybersecurity goodness we have in October.
To help you create an effective cybersecurity awareness campaign, CISA and NCSA have created four weekly themes to focus on during Cybersecurity Awareness Month:
- Week 1: Be Cyber Smart
The first week explores cybersecurity fundamentals: how simple actions can help secure your digital lives, improve the security of smart and internet-connected devices, and how other fundamentals can help reduce cyber risks.
- Week 2: Fight the Phish!
The second week will focus on how individuals can spot potential phishing attempts—which often lead to vulnerabilities that can result in ransomware or other types of malware. It will offer tips on how individuals can reduce their chances of falling victim to phishing attacks—either by reporting or deleting suspicious activities— as well as how to respond to and recover from them.
- Week 3: Explore. Experience. Share.
In partnership with the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), the third week celebrates Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week. This week will illustrate how cybersecurity professionals play a vital role in global society and security and call attention to their contributions and innovations. This week also showcases how building a global cybersecurity workforce enhances each nation’s security and promotes economic prosperity.
- Week 4: Cybersecurity First
The final week will emphasize that cybersecurity should be a priority and not an afterthought and will examine how what we do today can affect the future of personal, consumer, and business cybersecurity. This week will also highlight how cybersecurity is a year-round effort and should be an individual’s or organization’s first considerations when they create or buy new devices and connected services.
This month especially, we ask that you don’t treat cybersecurity as a taboo topic: talk to others about how to “Be Cyber Smart” and be sure to share Cybersecurity Awareness Month resources throughout your community—with your friends, family, and coworkers. By doing so, we can all make huge strides in protecting our devices.
Use the Cybersecurity Awareness Month hashtag #BeCyberSmart, to help promote cybersecurity awareness. Also, be sure to keep checking the website to learn more about upcoming Cybersecurity Awareness Month efforts in October.