October – National Cyber Security Awareness Month

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Stacie A. Rembold
  • 436th Communications Squadron
According to internetworldstats.com, there are more than 3.6 billion Internet users, roughly half of the world’s population of approximately 7.4 billion people. This translates to a highly connected world we live in today. Both large and small technological devices are becoming an “Internet of things.” These everyday devices, which help us live, work, and play, include things we wear, things we live in, things we drive and things some may use for everyday survival. Because of this, everyone has a responsibility to ‘Stop and Think’ before connecting their devices to this global “Internet of things.”

This October marks the 6th year of President Barrack Obama’s cyber security public awareness campaign.

Doing two simple things, ‘Stop and Think’ before you connect will help secure your portion of the cyberspace to protect yourselves, your data, and help “protect [America’s] prosperity and security.” This was President Obama’s intent when he called for a national cyber security awareness and digital literacy campaign in 2009 as one of his 5 steps to “pursue a new comprehensive approach to securing America’s digital infrastructure.” It was President Obama’s call for awareness that a year later in 2010, the Department of Homeland Security created the ‘Stop. Think. Connect.’ campaign that we know today.

The concept of the ‘Stop. Think. Connect.’ campaign is very simple; as simple as it is to look both ways before crossing the street.

STOP: Before you use the Internet, take time to understand the risks of connecting to a digital world where criminals are finding new ways to conduct traditional crimes through cyberspace.

THINK: Consider how your actions online could impact your safety, your family’s safety, and your future professionally, personally or financially.

CONNECT: Enjoy the Internet with greater confidence, knowing you’ve taken the right steps to safeguard yourself and your “internet of things” in cyberspace.
As with previous years, this year’s campaign will last the entire month of October, with each week focusing on a new topic related to cyber security.

Air Mobility Command is focusing on the following topics this year:

Week 1: October 3-7, 2016 – Crossing the Digital Street - Everyday Steps Toward Online Safety

Week 2: October 10-14, 2016 – Making Cyber Security a Cultural Norm - Creating a Culture of Cyber Security in the Workplace

Week 3: October 17-21, 2016 – Everyone Wants Your Money - Recognizing and Combating Cyber Crime

Week 4: October 24-28, 2016 – Pikachu and Why You Don't Really Need to Scan Your ID Card - Be Aware of the Mobile Apps You Use

Week 5: October 31, 2016 – Mission Focused Cyber Security and the Cyber Next Concept - Mission Assurance in the Cyber Domain

While the cyber security awareness month only comes once a year, it’s critically important to always be mindful of your actions over the Internet. Criminals don’t take a break from trying to steal your money or you identity over cyberspace, so make sure you don’t take a break either. Remember to keep your focus on cyber security…always!

For more information on cyber security, speak with your unit information assurance representative or visit https://www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect-toolkit.