National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

To kick off the campaign in New Jersey, Governor Philip D. Murphy signed a proclamation recognizing the importance of cybersecurity awareness in New Jersey. The line between our online and offline lives is indistinguishable. In these tech-fueled times, our homes, societal well-being, economic prosperity and nation’s security are impacted by the internet.

The 15th annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) will highlight user awareness among consumers, students/academia and business. NCSAM 2018 will address specific challenges and identify opportunities for behavioral change. It will also remind everyone that protecting the internet is “Our Shared Responsibility.” In addition, NCSAM 2018 will shine a spotlight on the critical need to build a strong, cyber secure workforce to help ensure families, communities, businesses and the country’s infrastructure are better protected.


Week 1: Oct. 1­–5: Make Your Home a Haven for Online Safety 

Every day, parents and caregivers teach kids basic safety practices ‒ like looking both ways before crossing the street and holding an adult’s hand in a crowded place. Easy-to-learn life lessons for online safety and privacy begin with parents leading the way. Learning good cybersecurity practices can also help set a strong foundation for a career in the industry. With family members using the internet to engage in social media, adjust the home thermostat or shop for the latest connected toy, it is vital to make certain that the entire household ‒ including children – learn to use the internet safely and responsibly and that networks and mobile devices are secure. Week 1 will underscore basic cybersecurity essentials the entire family can deploy to protect their homes against cyber threats.


Week 2: Oct. 8–12: Millions of Rewarding Jobs: Educating for a Career in Cybersecurity

A key risk to our economy and security continues to be the shortage of cybersecurity professionals to safeguard our ever-expanding cyber ecosystem. Raising the next generation of interested and capable cybersecurity professionals is a starting point to building stronger defenses. There are limitless opportunities to educate students of all ages – from high school into higher education and beyond – on the field of cybersecurity as they consider their options. In addition, veterans and individuals who are looking for a new career or re-entering the workforce, should explore the multitude of well-paying and rewarding jobs available. Week 2 will address ways to motivate parents, teachers and counselors to learn more about the field and how to best inspire students and others to seek highly fulfilling cybersecurity careers.


Week 3: Oct. 15–19: It’s Everyone’s Job to Ensure Online Safety at Work

When you are on the job – whether it’s at a corporate office, local restaurant, healthcare provider, academic institution or government agency ‒ your organization’s online safety and security are a responsibility we all share. And, as the lines between our work and daily lives become increasingly blurred, it is more important than ever to be certain that smart cybersecurity carries over between the two. Week 3 will focus on cybersecurity workforce education, training and awareness while emphasizing risk management, resistance and resilience. NCSA’s CyberSecure My Business will shed light on how small and medium-sized businesses can protect themselves, their employees and their customers against the most prevalent threats.


Week 4: Oct. 22–26: Safeguarding the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure   

Our day-to-day life depends on the country’s 16 sectors of critical infrastructure, which supply food, water, financial services, public health, communications and power along with other networks and systems. A disruption to this system, which is operated via the internet, can have significant and even catastrophic consequences for our nation. Week 4 will emphasize the importance of securing our critical infrastructure and highlight the roles the public can play in keeping it safe. In addition, it will lead the transition into November’s Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month, which is spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.


Additional Resources

Cybersecurity is Our Shared Responsibility

Everyone can make a difference during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). Whether you have a minute, an hour or a day – or all month long – check out ways you can participate and support NCSAM on social media, at home, at work or school and in the community.

On Social Media

  • Follow the National Cyber Security Alliance on TwitterFacebookYouTube and LinkedIn to receive the latest online safety news and resources.

  • Replace your profile picture or Facebook cover photo with the NCSAM logo for October. Download social media icons here.

  • Post online safety tips and reminders about National Cybersecurity Awareness Month on your social networks. Use the hashtag #CyberAware on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and other social media sites.

  • Download and share our sample social media posts leading up to and throughout the month on social media – download and share them all or customize them to your needs and interests!

  • Join our Twitter chats! @STOPTHNKCONNECT hosts weekly #ChatSTC Twitter chats during NCSAM, corresponding to the month’s themes. Check the STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ website for more information about these and other upcoming Twitter chats.

  • Blog about cybersecurity in October. Choose a topic that appeals to you or highlight one of the NCSAM themes.

At Home

  • Become a NCSAM Champion – sign up, take action and make a difference in online safety and security. It’s free and simple to register.

  • Sign up for NCSA’s newsletter to receive regular online safety news and resources.

  • Print a STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ tip sheet and display it in areas where family members spend time online.

  • Hold a family “tech talk.” Learn and discuss suggestions from STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ on how each family member can protect their devices and information.

  • Send an email to friends and family informing them that October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and encourage them to visit for tips and resources.

  • Follow STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™’s Tips and Advice all month long – and all year round.

At Work and School

  • Become a NCSAM Champion, and show your organization or school’s official involvement in the month. It’s free and simple to sign up.

  • Display a NCSAM poster in your workplace or school. Download the poster here.

  • Post a NCSAM banner on your company or school’s external or internal website. Download NCSAM web banners here. You can link to the NCSAM “About” page to provide more info.

  • Send an email to colleagues, employees, customers and/or your school community about NCSAM. Highlight one or more of the themes and/or our shared responsibility to secure the internet. You can use information from the NCSAM “About” page in the email.

  • Hold a brown bag lunch for employees to discuss your company’s IT security and acceptable use policies. Find talking points for employees here.

  • Incorporate STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ tips into employee or student handbooks and newsletters.

  • Host an employee training on cybersecurity. Check out ESET’s free cybersecurity awareness training as a great resource.

  • Host a poster/video contest for students in which participants create informative online safety resources. Display the winning entries at school or share them with your community.

  • Lock down your login: strengthen your company’s email and online accounts by adding extra layers of security beyond a username and password.

  • Need additional resources to help you plan your security awareness efforts this NCSAM? Check out EDUCAUSE’s NCSAM Resource Kit and SANS Securing the Human’s NCSAM Planning Toolkit.

In the Community

  • Display a NCSAM poster in your community center or religious institution. Download the poster here.

  • Include information about NCSAM in your community newsletter. Highlight one or more of the themes and/or our shared responsibility to secure the internet. You can use information from the NCSAM “About” page in the email.

  • Download, print and distribute STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ tip sheets and other resources at your local community center.

  • If your community center has shared computers or wireless networks, download and share this tip sheet on how to best protect personal information.

  • Talk to community members about best security practices for email, social media and/or online transactions. Highlight STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ tips and advice.

  • Host a cybersecurity event for community members to discuss smart computer practices and online security measures, leveraging resources provided by the National Cyber Security Alliance.