The Internet is part of everyone’s life, every day. We use the Internet at work, home, for enjoyment, and to connect with those close to us.

However, being constantly connected brings increased risk of theft, fraud, and abuse. No country, industry, community, or individual is immune to cyber risks. 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.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity and increasing the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident. October 2014 marks the 11th Annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Allianceand the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.

Our Shared Responsibility

Through a series of events and initiatives across the country, DHS engages public and private sector partners to raise awareness and educate Americans about cybersecurity and increase the resiliency of the nation and its cyber infrastructure.

This year, it’s easy to take part in National Cyber Security Awareness Month by participating in any or all of the following weeks. Stay tuned for more information about specific events and resources for each week, including social media resources to help your organization promote each week’s theme.

Week One: Oct 1-3
Promoting Online Safety with the Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign
Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, and everyone can take a few simple steps to make the Internet more secure. This week will also highlight efforts related to Executive Order 13636 to strengthen the security and resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure.
Week Two: October 6-10 Secure Development of IT Products Building security into information technology products, including the phones, tablets, and computers we use every day, is key to enhanced cybersecurity.
Week Three: October 13-17
Critical Infrastructure and the Internet of Things
Highlights the importance of protecting critical infrastructure and properly securing all devices, including household items, that are connected to the Internet.
Week Four: October 20-24
Cybersecurity for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses and Entrepreneurs
Showcases what emerging and established businesses can do to protect their organization, customers, and employees.
Week Five: October 27-31
Cyber Crime and Law Enforcement
Working with law enforcement to combat cyber crime and educate the public on how to protect themselves from online crime.

How to Participate

Celebrate NCSAM Throughout the Month

October 1 Upload the National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) banner on your organization’s homepage with a link to
October 2 Post a NCSAM message on social media to announce the start of NCSAM month – include #NCSAM @cyber
October 3 Add a NCSAM auto signature to your emails
October 4-5 Weekend
October 6 Send an email to colleagues/constituents announcing NCSAM
October 7 Host a virtual cybersecurity event
October 8 Post a NCSAM blog
October 9 Become a Friend of the Campaign
October 10 Start an online discussion by posting a cybersecurity question on social media – include #NCSAM @cyber
October11-12 Weekend
October 13 Columbus Day
October 14 Share a link to a cybersecurity video on social media – include #NCSAM @cyber
October 15 Include cybersecurity information in public remarks such as a speech, intercom announcement, or staff gathering
October 16 Submit a cybersecurity story for a newsletter
October 17 Share a message about the importance of a strong password on social media – include #NCSAM @cyber
October 18-19 Weekend
October 20 Highlight the topic of cyber careers
October 21 Email a cybersecurity tip to your network
October 22 Host a poster contest with cybersecurity as the theme
October 23 Post a cybersecurity fact or figure on social media – include #NCSAM @cyber
October 24 Challenge your followers on social media to become a Friend of the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign – include #NCSAM @cyber
October 25-26 Weekend
October 27 Provide a link on your organization’s website to current news story about the importance of cybersecurity
October 28 Host a cybersecurity-related event
October 29 Sign up for the US-CERT alert system at to receive alerts with timely information about current security issues and vulnerabilities
October 30 Host a cybersecurity discussion on social media – include #NCSAM @cyber
October 31 Become a Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign partner and keep your cybersecurity and safety efforts going throughout the year

To get involved in National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2014:

  • Stay tuned for more information about each week, including the 2014 Kick-Off.
  • Find or register a local event on the official calendar.
  • Get information on how your government, law enforcement, business, school, or organization can take action during National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
  • Teach elementary, middle, and high school students about Internet safety and security.
  • Post cybersecurity tips, news, and resources highlighting NCSAM on social media sites during National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

Year-Round Tips and Resources

Americans can follow simple steps to keep themselves, their assets, and their personal information safe online. Here are a few tips all Internet users can leverage to practice cybersecurity during National Cyber Security Awareness Month and throughout the year:

  • 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.

For tips and resources you can use and share throughout the year, visit the DHS Stop.Think.Connect. Toolkit and find resources for the following demographics:

For more information on how to practice cybersecurity during National Cyber Security Awareness Month and throughout the year, visit Stop.Think.Connect.

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