NCSAM

The internet is part of everyone's life, every day. We use the internet at work, home, for enjoyment and to connect with those close to us.

However, being constantly connected brings increased risk of theft, fraud and abuse. No country, industry, community, or individual is immune to cyber risks. As a nation, we face constant cyber threats against our critical infrastructure and economy. As individuals, cybersecurity risks can threaten our finances, identity, and privacy. Since our way of life depends on critical infrastructure and the digital technology that operates it, cybersecurity is one of our country's most important national security priorities, and we each have a role to play--cybersecurity is a shared responsibility.

Over the next 5 weeks we will be promoting themes here, and on our homepage, that are specific to raising awareness about cybersecurity and increasing the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber-incident. Click the current week below for more information and resources regarding the topic.

Week One: Resources for Promoting Online Safety/Stop.Think.Connect Campaign

Week Two: Secure Development of IT Products

Week Three: Critical Infrastructure and the Internet of Things

Week Four: Cybersecurity for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Week Five: Cyber Crime and Law Enforcement

 

StudentsOnly 42% of teens say they are confident that the information seen by the public about them online is information they choose to be visible. Regardless of how fast your fingers fly on a keyboard or cell phone, the best tool you have to help avoid risks online is your brain. Stop before you post, share or send: Do you trust the site you are on? How would you feel if your information ends up somewhere you didn't intend?

Older AmericansAs of April 2012, 53% of Americans age 65 and older use the internet or email. While the internet allows us to stay connected, informed, and involved with family and friends, any public environment requires awareness and caution. Just as you use locks to keep criminals out of your home, you also need safeguards to secure your computer.

 

Parents & EducatorsWhen your child wants to go over to a new friend's house, you probably ask questions. Who else is going? Will there be parents' home? We should be having the same discussion with our kids about their internet use. 71% of parents claim to have had the "internet talk" with their kids, but only 44% of young people agree.

 Stop.Think.Connect Banner

STOP.

Before you use the Internet, take time to understand the risks and learn how to spot potential problems.

THINK.

Take a moment to be certain the path is clear ahead. Watch for warning signs and consider how your actions online could impact your safety, or your family’s.

CONNECT.

Enjoy the Internet with greater confidence, knowing you’ve taken the right steps to safeguard yourself and your computer.

Click here to learn more about what you can do to keep your home computer safe.

Click here to learn more about what you can do to keep your mobile device safe.

Safety Tips for Home Computers

Keep a Clean Machine.

Keep security software current: Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats.

Automate software updates: Many software programs will automatically connect and update to defend against known risks. Turn on automatic updates if that’s an available option.

Protect all devices that connect to the Internet: Along with computers, smart phones, gaming systems, and other web-enabled devices also need protection from viruses and malware.

Plug & scan: “USBs” and other external devices can be infected by viruses and malware. Use your security software to scan them.

Protect Your Personal Information.

Secure your accounts: Ask for protection beyond passwords. Many account providers now offer additional ways for you verify who you are before you conduct business on that site.

Make passwords long and strong: Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password.

Unique account, unique password: Separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals.

Write it down and keep it safe: Everyone can forget a password. Keep a list that’s stored in a safe, secure place away from your computer.

Own your online presence: When available, set the privacy and security settings on websites to your comfort level for information sharing. It’s ok to limit how and with whom you share information.

Connect with Care.

When in doubt, throw it out: Links in email, tweets, posts, and online advertising are often the way cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete or if appropriate, mark as junk email.

Get savvy about Wi‐Fi hotspots: Limit the type of business you conduct and adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your machine.

Protect your $$: When banking and shopping, check to be sure the sites is security enabled. Look for web addresses with “https://” or “shttp://”, which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. “Http://” is not secure.

Be Web Wise.

Stay current. Keep pace with new ways to stay safe online. Check trusted websites for the latest information, and share with friends, family, and colleagues and encourage them to be web wise.

Think before you act: Be wary of communications that implores you to act immediately, offers something that sounds too good to be true, or asks for personal information.

Back it up: Protect your valuable work, music, photos, and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely.

Be a Good Online Citizen.

Safer for me more secure for all: What you do online has the potential to affect everyone – at home, at work and around the world. Practicing good online habits benefits the global digital community. Post only about others as you have them post about you.

Help the authorities fight cybercrime: Report stolen finances or identities and other cybercrime to http://www.ic3.gov (Internet Crime Complaint Center), the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.onguardonline.gov/file-complaint.

Visit http://www.stopthinkconnect.org for more information.

Safety Tips for Mobile Devices

Keep a Clean Machine.

Mobile devices are computers with software that needs to be kept up-to-date (just like your PC, laptop or tablet). Security protections are built in and updated on a regular basis. Take time to make sure all the mobile devices in your house have the latest protections. This may require synching your device with a computer.

Keep security software current: Having the latest mobile security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats.

Protect all devices that connect to the Internet: Computers, smart phones, gaming systems, and other web-enabled devices all need protection from viruses and malware.

Did you know that there is now security software available for mobile devices? Much like home computers, software has been developed and is now available to help protect your mobile device. Click here to learn more information about security options available for your mobile device.

Please Note: The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Queenstown Bank of Maryland, or the information, products or services contained therein.

Protect Your Personal Information.

Phones can contain tremendous amounts of personal information. Lost or stolen devices can be used to gather information about you and, potentially, others. Protect your phone like you would your computer.

Secure your phone: Use a strong passcode to lock your phone.

Think before you app: Review the privacy policy and understanding what data (location, access to your social networks) on your device an app can access before you download it. Only give your mobile number out to people you know and trust and never give anyone else's number out without their permission. Learn how to disable the geotagging feature on your phone at icanstalku.com/how.php#disable.

Connect with Care.

Use common sense when you connect. If you’re online through an unsecured or unprotected network, be cautious about the sites you visit and the information you release.

Get savvy about Wi‐Fi hotspots: Limit the type of business you conduct and adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your phone.

Protect your $$: When banking and shopping, check to be sure the sites is security enabled. Look for web addresses with "https://" or "shttp://", which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. "Http://" is not secure.

When in doubt, don’t respond. Fraudulent texting, calling and voicemails are on the rise. Just like email, requests for personal information or to immediate action are almost always a scam.

Be Web Wise.

Stay informed of the latest updates on your device. Know what to do if something goes wrong.

Stay current. Keep pace with new ways to stay safe online. Check trusted websites for the latest information, and share with friends, family, and colleagues and encourage them to be web wise.

Know how to cell block others. Using caller ID, you can block all incoming calls or block individual names and numbers.

Use caution when meeting face-to-face with someone who you only "know" through text messaging.

Even though texting is often the next step after online chatting, that does not mean that it is safer.

Be a Good Online Citizen.

It is easy to say things from via phone or text that you would never say face to face. Remind your kids to maintain the same level of courtesy on the phone as they would in the real world.

Safer for me more secure for all: What you do online has the potential to affect everyone – at home, at work and around the world. Practicing good online habits benefits the global digital community.

Text to others only as you would have them text to you.

Only give your mobile number out to people you know and trust and never give anyone else's number out without their permission.

Get permission before taking pictures or videos of others with your phone. Likewise, let others know they need your permission before taking pictures or videos of you.

Visit http://www.stopthinkconnect.org for more information.

 

Secure Development of IT Products

Improve Your Cybersecurity.

Security is an essential element of software design, development, testing, and maintenance. The software we use every day on our phones, tablets, and computers may have vulnerabilities that can compromise our personal information and privacy.

How we use our IT products and devices is very important. From locking our portable devices to making sure that all devices have the latest operating systems and anti-virus software, users should always take advantage of their products' existing security features.

Regardless of how secure our IT products are, individual users can and should take a few steps to improve their cybersecurity. For instance, when purchasing software or hardware, consumers should:

- Install and maintain vendor-distributed patches or updates
- Ensure they are using the latest operating systems on their computers and mobile devices
- Be aware of vulnerabilities that may exist

For more resources to help create secure IT products, click here.

 

Critical Infrastructure and the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things.

Just as critical infrastructure is essential to helping Americans live their everyday lives, a growing "Internet of Things" - the ability of objects and devices to transfer data - is changing the way we use technology and helping people live more efficiently. The Internet of Things encompasses the devices that are embedded with computers and, through a combination of sensors, connectivity to the internet, and human activity, work to connect our lives to the digital world. Simply put, we are connected and online 24/7 even when we're not at a computer.

Consumers play an important role in securing critical infrastructure not only by practicing good cyber hygiene themselves, but also by encouraging the many companies and organizations they do business with to adhere to high cybersecurity standards. On an individual basis, consumers can:

- Make a plan to help keep your employees and community safe during an emergency and enhance your ability to recover operations quickly if you run a business. If you are an employee, ask your management whether there are plans in place and request a copy.

- Report suspicious activity.

- Make informed decisions about connecting devices to your networks. Visit the US-CERT Tips page.

- If you manufacture devices, check out the U.S. Small Business Association's cyber course.

 

Cybersecurity for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the Nation's economy. Aside from the wide range of services they offer, small and medium-sized businesses store significant amounts of sensitive data, from customer information to intellectual property.

The Department of Homeland Security and other Federal agencies are dedicated to helping improve the cybersecurity of small and medium-sized businesses. Businesses of all sizes can take steps to ensure they are more secure, including:

- Use and regularly update all anti-virus and anti-spyware software on all computers.
- Secure your internet by using a firewall, encrypting information and hiding your Wi-Fi network.
- Establish security practices and policies to protect sensitive information.
- Educate employees on how to protect data and require them to use strong passwords.
- Invest in data loss protection software for your network.
- Protect all pages on your public-facing websites, not just the checkout and sign-up pages.

These and other tips can be found in the small business section of the Stop.Think.Connect.Toolkit. Businesses can access the following resources to help improve their cybersecurity:

- The Federal Small Biz Cyber Planner, a tool for businesses to create custom cybersecurity plans.

- Cybersecurity for Small Business is a training course that covers the basics of cybersecurity and information security.

- Stay Safe Online offers a guide that explains how to implement a cybersecurity plan.

- The US Small Business Association's cyber course provides an introduction to securing information in a small business.

- For a list of free botnet detection and remediation resources visit the Keep Machines Clean information page.

 

Cyber Crime and Law Enforcement

Crimes such as credit card fraud, identity theft, and sexual harassment are not new. The internet, however, has made these types of crimes more prevalent and easier to carry out. Many crimes affecting individuals are increasingly conducted or facilitated through the internet.

Cyber crime can happen to anyone in any location, from any location-making it difficult to track and stop them. But criminals are not the only ones using technology for their benefit. Many law enforcement agencies are taking advantage of technology to track down cyber criminals.

Below are some tips you can use to protect yourself against the threat of cyber crime:

- Protect all devices that connect to the internet. Along with computers, smart phones, gaming systems, and other web-enabled devices also need protection from viruses and malware.

- Do business with reputable vendors. Before providing any personal or financial information, make sure that you are interacting with a reputable, established vendor. Check website security. When banking and shopping, check to be sure the site is security enabled with "https://" or "shttp://"

- Beware of unsolicited emails or suspicious websites. Never provide your credit card number, bank account information, or other personal information in response to an unsolicited mail or suspicious internet web site.

- Report suspicious activity. Report online fraud to the Federal Trade Commission.