June. A month to break out the beach ball, fire up the grill, and … think about internet security! The National Cyber Security Alliance has recognized June as “National Internet Safety” month. As part of its educational efforts, the NCSA has developed the “STOP. THINK. CONNECT.” public service campaign.
The campaign encourages you to “stop” to consider potential risks before accessing the internet and to actively “think” about those risks so that you can identify warning signs. If you’ve ever gotten an email that was a little too zealous about getting you to click on a link, then you’ve already encountered one of the big security red flags. Additionally, parents should take steps to ensure their children understand security and privacy risks. The NCSA will be participating in a Twitter chat about online safety on July 21
“Everyone – youth and adults alike – can benefit from learning better Internet safety practices and should become more aware of potential threats, ” said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance. “Recent research by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that youth ages 8-18 spend upwards of eight hours online daily while most adults spend an even greater amount of time on the Internet per day. This is why integrating these three simple steps: STOP. THINK. CONNECT. into your online experience is critical to staying safer and more secure. Considering how critical Internet access is to our daily lives, we want all internet users to understand that they have a shared responsibility in protecting themselves online and that safer practices online help protect everyone.”
STOP.THINK.CONNECT. initiatives have already gained backing from a variety of organizations. For example, The associated “keep a clean machine” campaign is a cybersecurity educational program that teaches users good security practices. According to a recent TechNewsWorld article, the program has gained support from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Trade Commission.
Have you taken any measures to increase security for your online accounts? What steps do you take to protect yourself from hackers and malware? Do you make use of spam filtering to whitelist emails from trusted sources?