Monday, October 5, 2009

National Cyber Security Awareness Month - 2009


In addition to October being Web Bytes Blog’s first birthday, it is also the 6th National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). During this month, the federal government has a multi-state campaign to collectively offer guidance to help Americans become cyber security conscious both at home and in the work place. Conscious effort must be taken to be aware of where you are going before you click a link on the Internet just as you would while walking the streets. Try to remember that cyber security is your responsibility just as it is for the other guy.

Some of the steps to improve computer security at home have already been discussed in various blog posts throughout the year (see the links section below) but will be reiterated here for enforcement and to make cyber security a habit.
- Installation and proper use of:    
      Anti-virus applications
      Spyware
      Spam filters
      Firewalls
      Parental controls

- Backing up critical files via external media. Also use passwords on your portable devices

- Keep up-to-date your operating system and Web browsers

- Use caution while sharing sensitive information

- Use strong passwords or strong authentication technology

- Check for https or pad lock protocols when sharing sensitive information on trusted Web sites

There will be various articles and exhibits around the country during October in celebration of NCSAM. If possible, plan an afternoon to enjoy some of theses activities. You can download a cyber security awareness toolkit at http://www.msisac.org/awareness/oct09/2009awareness.cfm all in PDF downloadable format. The kit includes an awareness calendar, posters, bookmarks, a how to guide for IT security in government, etc. Some security awareness events scheduled are Florida’s security summit and Webcast at http://www.floridagtc.com/ on October 6 and West Virginia’s conference and Webcast at http://www.state.wv.us/ot/article2.cfm?atl=E7F0EC88-B89D-11D5-92170020781CA4C6 on October 19. A full calendar of events can also be found at http://www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam. I am sure there are other states participating in this national security awareness project. If you know of others, please share with us.

Non-technical computer users can get security advice from the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) at http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/tips/. You can sign up to receive tips via email directly to your inbox

As always, post your comments, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together

In His Service,
AvaByGrace

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Links of Interest for Cyber Security Awareness:
Cyber security month tip of the week: Don’t be fooled by scams

http://www.ucsc.edu/news_events/text.asp?pid=3255

Safety Tips on Free Internet Access
http://www.webbytesblog.com/search?q=https

Backup Applications
http://www.webbytesblog.com/2009/06/backup-applications.html

Strong Passwords
http://www.webbytesblog.com/2009/05/strong-password.html

In-Session Phishing
http://www.webbytesblog.com/2009/02/in-session-phishing.html

The Difference between Http and Https
http://www.webbytesblog.com/2009/01/tib-bit.html

Automatic Maintenance
http://www.webbytesblog.com/2008/10/automatic-maintenance.html

Home Computing Security
http://www.webbytesblog.com/2008/10/home-computing-security.html

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