You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Sep 5, 2013 : 11:17 a.m.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month - What are you doing to stay secure?

By Kristin Judge

Editor's note: Read lasts year's coverage of National Cyber Security Awareness Month:

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month - last two weeks focus on business and school security

The 10th annual October National Cyber Security Awareness Monthis coming up in less than a month, and I want to encourage each of you to do something to help improve your online security at home, at work and at school. The heavy lifting has been done. Activities and resources are already prepared.

All you need to do is find a little bit of time to participate in some of the below activities. Instead of giving tips this month, I am sharing ideas for activities you can do if you have just an hour or if you want to participate on a larger scale all month.

We drivers take proper safety training before getting behind the wheel, and the Internet is very similar. Take time to educate yourself and those around you this October or any month you like!

National Cyber Security Awareness Month Ideas: (These ideas come directly from the Center for Internet Security (CIS) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA))

Take the Cyber Pledge

CIS is once again hosting its Cyber Pledge Contest. This is an online list of safe behaviors we can all do while on the Internet. After signing the pledge online, you can print out a copy to hang by your desk. This serves as a wonderful reminder to be safe each day. The pledge period opened Aug. 8 and continues through Sept. 30. Link:

Join the Awareness Month National Webcast Oct. 10

CIS, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and NCSA, is hosting a webcast featuring several guest speakers to discuss strategies on how to promote cyber security awareness at all levels, including government, businesses and academia. This broadcast will feature dynamic discussions with leading industry experts and provide attendees with practical information on how to keep themselves and their organizations cyber secure.

This webcast is scheduled for Oct. 11. More information will be available in September, and there is no cost to attend. Link:

Ask Your Local School to Participate in a National 2013 Poster Contest

CIS is conducting its national K-12 Computer Safety Contest to encourage young people to use the Internet safely and securely and to craft messages and images that will best resonate with their peers across the country. The contest will launch Oct. 10, 2013.

The contest will be open to all public, private or home-schooled students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Winning entries of the National Contest will be included in a 2015 calendar, which is distributed to every state in the country as part of the CIS Cyber Security Awareness Toolkit. Entries received may also be used in other national, regional and state cyber and computer security awareness campaigns.

Last year's contest included more than 2,000 student entries from 16 states. Two of the 2013 winners were from Michigan and their families enjoyed a visit with Gov. Rick Snyder. More information about the 2014 Poster Contest will be available later this month at

Download and Print Cyber Security Toolkit Materials for Work or School

The CIS Cyber Security Toolkit features educational material designed to raise cyber security awareness through a variety of informative and practical means. The Toolkit will be distributed by the MS-ISAC to all 50 states as well as U.S. Territories and more than 350 local governments, with customizable material that could be widely shared across government, businesses, schools and citizens. The 2013 Toolkit material will be available for download later this month at

Post Tips on your Social Media

For those who use social media, NCSA will be creating a daily tip for Facebook and Twitter for each day in October. All you need to do is cut and paste to help share important information with the people in your social network. Social media tips will be here soon:

For additional ways to get involved, NCSA has tip sheets with NCSAM activities for business, faith-based organizations, home users, teachers and more on the National Cyber Security Alliance website

To get more great information about staying safe online, including access to free monthly newsletters, webcasts and more, visit the Center for Internet Security at Stay tuned for our next chat!

Kristin Judge is the executive director of the Trusted Purchasing Alliance, a division of the Center for Internet Security. She can be reached at