Being online exposes us to cyber criminals and others who commit identity theft, fraud, and harassment. Every time we connect to the Internet—at home, at school, at work, or on our mobile devices—we make decisions that affect our cybersecurity. Emerging cyber threats require engagement from the entire American community to create a safer cyber environment—from government and law enforcement to the private sector and, most importantly, members of the public.
Cyberspace and its underlying infrastructure are vulnerable to a wide range of risk stemming from both physical and cyber threats and hazards. Sophisticated cyber actors and nation-states exploit vulnerabilities to steal information and money and are developing capabilities to disrupt, destroy, or threaten the delivery of essential services.
A range of traditional crimes are now being perpetrated through cyberspace. This includes the production and distribution of child pornography and child exploitation conspiracies, banking and financial fraud, intellectual property violations, and other crimes, all of which have substantial human and economic consequences.
Cyberspace is particularly difficult to secure due to a number of factors: the ability of malicious actors to operate from anywhere in the world, the linkages between cyberspace and physical systems, and the difficulty of reducing vulnerabilities and consequences in complex cyber networks. Of growing concern is the cyber threat to critical infrastructure, which is increasingly subject to sophisticated cyber intrusions that pose new risks.
As information technology becomes increasingly integrated with physical infrastructure operations, there is increased risk for wide scale or high-consequence events that could cause harm or disrupt services upon which our economy and the daily lives of millions of Americans depend. In light of the risk and potential consequences of cyber events, strengthening the security and resilience of cyberspace has become an important homeland security mission.
The Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign is a national public awareness campaign aimed at increasing the understanding of cyber threats and empowering the American public to be safer and more secure online.
Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. We each have to do our part to keep the Internet safe. When we all take simple steps to be safer online, it makes using the Internet a more secure experience for everyone. The Campaign provides free resources available to everyone that are tailored to multiple demographics, including small businesses, students, educators and parents, and many others.
The Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign also has opportunities for academic colleges/universities, federal and local agencies, and non-profit organizations to partner with the Campaign. This no-fee partnership allows organizations and agencies to communicate with each other through various mediums and allows various stakeholders to expand the Stop.Think.Connect. message.
National Cyber Security Awareness Month
National Cyber Security Awareness Month is an opportunity to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity and increasing the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident. National Cyber Security Awareness Month occurs each October and is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with other government agencies. The ongoing message of National Cyber Security Awareness Month is to remind all Americans that cybersecurity and keeping the Internet safe for everyone is a shared responsibility.
Find more tips for staying safe online.