Sailors assigned to Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Atlantic, Det. Rota, Spain (NCTAMS LANT Det. Rota) received the 2016 Community Awareness Team award at the U.S. Government Information Security Leadership Awards May 29.
The award requires a government organizational unit to demonstrate a significant contribution to building or broadening cybersecurity awareness in the local community within the last 12 months.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with our team’s enthusiasm and impact,” said Lt. Cmdr. Michael South, officer in charge of NCTAMS LANT Det. Rota. “I purposefully set the bar high, and yet they busted right through that ceiling and have set a precedence for a better way to approach cybersecurity awareness.”
NCTAMS LANT Det. Rota met this criteria with a unique and broad campaign that reached a majority of the almost 10,000 military personnel, government civilian employees, government contractors, Spanish national employees, and their collective families residing in the area.
In addition to the standard mass emails, local base newspaper articles, Armed Forces Network (AFN) radio talk show, AFN TV public service announcements, and mentions during various meetings, the team conducted a series of community engagements that likely will have a lasting impact on the community.
The first series of engagements, titled the “5-minute Social Media Challenge,” showed visitors how they could better safeguard personal information on popular social media sites like Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, Twitter, and Instagram.
The team also conducted 18 classroom engagements where they educated students from David G. Farragut Elementary School, located on base, about dangers they could encounter while playing online games, using social media, and chatting with strangers.
The group also talked about cyber bullying and ways to stay safe online.
The students were receptive and actively participated in discussions, sharing some of their own personal stories and experiences with cyber bullying.
“I believe they are the first generation to grow up with the internet and internet-capable devices regardless of their social standing,” said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Petty Officer Martin Gasca, NCTAMS LANT Det. Rota team member. “So it is very important for us to start teaching this generation about best practices and security at an early age.”