Monday, October 18, 2010

Stay Safe Online

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.  It isn't well known but it has been around since 2004.  It is a national public awareness campaign to encourage everyone to protect their personal and business computers and, by extension, our national cyber infrastructure.  

We are constantly connected today.  The Internet is the basis of our digital lives.  Almost everything that you do today is either over the Internet directly or supported by the Internet in some way.  All our financial systems, communications, transportation networks along with the power grids that keep them going are, at some point, using the Internet to function.  It is a fantastic Web-based, digital life we lead.

This campaign is about educating the public that the Internet is our backbone today connecting us to everything and everyone else.  While that continues to create new possibilities and opportunities there has never been one entity responsible for securing the Internet.  Therefore, each of us are responsible for our computers, devices and networks connected to cyberspace.  No one should take it for granted or treat it lightly.

Take the time to understand the risks and where you are vulnerable.  In 2009 a study was conducted to analyze small business' cyber security practices and attitudes.  The summary of key findings are somewhat eye opening.  I encourage everyone to read through the one page summary.   

Finally, while you are getting educated, check out the new global online safety campaign called STOP|THINK|CONNECT.  They have some great tips and tools on that page to help you be more aware of what the threats you are up against when you are connected.

Practice Stop. Think. Connect. and encourage others to do it as well.  It may feel like a daunting task but we are all responsible for protecting ourselves.