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National Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Protecting the internet is “Our Shared Responsibility”

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska is excited to once again participate in National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. When everyone does their part, our interconnected world will be safer, more resistant to cyber dangers and more resilient if a cyber incident occurs. Here are some ideas to help you participate in this year’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Week 1 (Oct. 1-5) – Make your home a haven for online safety.

With family members using the internet to engage in social media, adjust the home thermostat or shop for the latest connected toy, it is vital to make certain that the entire household – including children – learn to use the internet safely and responsibly and that networks and mobile devices are secure.

Simple ways to get involved:

  1. Dig deeper into the “6 Steps to Better Security” at lockdownyourlogin.org.
  2. Turn on multi-factor authentication to protect your financial, email and social media accounts.
  3. Update your software and turn on automatic updates to protect your home network and personal devices.
  4. Participate using #CyberAware on social media and include your friends and family in the conversation.

Week 2 (Oct. 8-12) – Educating for a Career in Cybersecurity

A key risk to our economy and security continues to be the shortage of cybersecurity professionals to safeguard our ever-expanding cyber ecosystem. There are limitless opportunities to educate students of all ages on the field of cybersecurity.

In addition, veterans and individuals who are looking for a new career or re-entering the workforce should explore the multitude of well-paying and rewarding jobs available.

Simple ways to get involved in education efforts:

  1. Talk to your kids. For info and tips, check out this “Parent Primer for Guiding Kids to Careers in Cybersecurity.
  2. Become a cyber influencer. Share your career story on social media using #CyberAware.
  3. Inspire young people by being a mentor in the workplace or at local schools.

Week 3 (Oct. 15-19) – It’s everyone’s job to ensure online safety at work.

We all share in ensuring the online safety and security of our workplaces. And, as the lines between our work and personal lives become increasingly blurred, it’s more important than ever to be certain smart cybersecurity carries over between the two.

Simple ways to get involved:

  1. Stay up to date on the latest scams by signing up for Scam Alerts from the Federal Trade Commission and Better Business Bureau.
  2. Business owners, managers and influencers can get involved in the CyberSecure My Business program through the National Cyber Security Alliance.
  3. Jump into the deep end with in-depth cybersecurity framework information from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Week 4 (Oct. 22-26) – Safeguarding the nation’s critical infrastructure

Much of our day-to-day life depends on our country’s 16 sectors of critical infrastructure, which supply food, water, financial services, public health, communications, energy and more to us. These sectors can be operated via the internet and a disruption to any of them could have catastrophic consequences for our nation. We can all play a role in keeping our country safe.

Simple ways to get involved:

  1. Get info about how “homeland security starts with hometown security” from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
  2. Become a cyber influencer on social media and hashtag memes and posts with #CyberAware.

Since 2004, NCSAM has represented a collaborative effort between government, non-profits, businesses and individuals to ensure that all Americans have the information they need to help them stay safe and secure online. Led by the National Cybersecurity Alliance and U.S. Department of Homeland Security, NCSAM has grown exponentially—reaching people and organizations nationwide and encouraging all internet users to be #CyberAware.

Portions of this story courtesy of the National Cyber Security Alliance.

For more stories about staying safe online, visit newsroom.nebraskablue.com/security/

About the Author:

Thomas is a program coordinator in the Compliance & Ethics department at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska. In this role, Thomas focuses on organization-wide oversight and education related to security, privacy, and the organization’s Code of Conduct. Prior to being with BCBSNE, Thomas was an instructor at the University of Nebraska.