DHS Launches Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign

The Department of Homeland Security recently launched the “Stop. Think. Connect.” public cybersecurity awareness campaign -- a national initiative that promotes simple steps the public can take to increase their safety and security online.

“We all share a responsibility to prevent cyber attacks and increase our nation’s resilience to cyber threats,” said DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. The “Stop. Think. Connect.” campaign will help equip the public with simple information to keep themselves and their families safe and secure on the Internet.”

“Stop. Think. Connect.” is a national public education campaign designed to increase public understanding of cyber threats and how individual citizens can develop safer cyber habits that will help make networks more secure. The campaign fulfills a key element of President Obama’s 2009 Cyberspace Policy Review, which tasked DHS with developing a public awareness campaign to inform Americans about ways to use technology safely.

“Stop. Think. Connect.” includes cyber forums hosted in collaboration with the National Centers of Academic Excellence to bring together diverse groups of community, private and government participants for dialogues on cybersecurity issues; opportunities for members of the public to get involved and help spread the word by leading or hosting campaign activities; and a coalition for public and private sector organizations.

As part of the campaign, the Department has also launched a new “Stop. Think. Connect.” website, http://www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect, which provides a variety of free, downloadable resources and materials to help the public increase their safety and security online.

The “Stop. Think. Connect.” campaign was announced today in Seattle by Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Jane Holl Lute and White House Cybersecurity Coordinator and Special Advisor to the President Howard Schmidt during remarks highlighting the beginning of the 7th annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and the Department’s continued commitment to making cybersecurity a shared responsibility. They were joined by National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) Executive Director Michael Kaiser.

“During October, we all have a shared obligation to reaffirm our own commitment to increasing cybersecurity whenever and wherever possible. National Cybersecurity Awareness Month provides a platform for those of us in government, at the federal, state, local, levels, as well as our partners in the private sector, non-profit, academia, and internationally to help further educate all Americans and the global internet community about the importance of cybersecurity,” Schmidt said. “It is our shared responsibility to create a safe, secure and resilient cyber environment.”

The creation of “Stop. Think. Connect.” was the result of an intensive collaborative effort over the past year from the Online Consumer Security and Safety Messaging Convention, an effort organized by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), key industry leaders, government agencies, and nonprofits.

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a coordinated effort between DHS, the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), and NCSA to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and help Americans establish smart cyber habits that will lead to increased protection online.

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