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Why Cybersecurity?

As citizens, students, employees, and businesses become more and more connected via the Internet, it is essential that we are all keenly aware of the issue of cybersecurity.  Cybersecurity is important for you to protect your privacy and your property (such as online accounts), and the privacy and property of your family and friends, too.

Computer viruses, hackers, malware, and other threats are out there in cyberspace, and it’s up to each one of us to guard against them. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help you protect yourself, your family, friends, your organization, and employees. In the words of the National Cyber Security Alliance, "Be a Good Cyber Citizen by Owning your Online Presence. When you cross the street, you look both ways to make sure it’s safe. Staying safe on the Internet is similar. It takes some common sense steps.

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 ahead is clear. 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. Protect yourself and help keep the web a safer place for everyone."

The Cyber Pricetag

A recent survey conducted by the National Cyber Security Alliance on over 1,000 adult Americans showed 96 percent of the respondants feel a personal responsibility to be safer and more secure online. Yet when asked why they don’t always do the things they can or should do to stay safer online, twenty-eight percent said they simply lack the information or knowledge of what to do. Unfortunately, the cost of not doing more on cybersecurity can't be measured in only the billions of dollars that are known to directly result, but must also be measured in national security and public safety.

The computer systems that support the nation's critical infrastructure, which includes banks, airlines, nuclear power plants, jails, food processing companies and health-care systems, are vulnerable to cyber attacks that can shut down or destroy systems, leading to reduced economic output and large-scale injuries or loss of life. Attacks are becoming exceedingly more elaborate, torrential and dangerous, all cyber experts agree. To keep the nation safer, Congress plans to consider legislation that encourages companies to tighten the security of their systems to reduce successful attacks. Companies providing fundamental services that power the U.S. economy and protect public health would have to almost double their cybersecurity spending to better guard their systems — and even then they would remain vulnerable. So, it is imperative that each and every one of us learn the basic fundamentals of online cybersecurity. Please visit the websites provided here for your education and make cyber safety awareness part of your daily habits.

Cybersecurity websites we suggest:

Stop, Think, Connect

The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) and National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) led the development of the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security provides the Federal Government's leadership for the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign.

OnGuardOnline.org

On Guard Online

The Federal Trade Commission manages OnGuardOnline.gov, a partner in the Stop Think Connect campaign, led by the Department of Homeland Security, and part of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

NetSmartz, NS Teens
and NetSmartz Kids

NetSmartz Workshop is an interactive, educational program of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® that provides age-appropriate resources to help teach children how to be safer on & offline. The program is designed for children ages 5-17, parents and guardians, educators, and law enforcement.

Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center

The MS-ISAC is the focal point for cyber threat prevention, protection, response and recovery for the nation's state, local, territorial and tribal (SLTT) governments. The MS-ISAC 24x7 cyber security operations center provides real-time network monitoring, early cyber threat warnings and mitigation and incident response.

US Computer Emergency Readiness Team

US-CERT’s mission is to improve the nation's cyber-security posture, coordinate cyber information sharing, and proactively manage cyber risks to the nation while protecting the constitutional rights of Americans. US-CERT's vision is to be a trusted global leader in cybersecurity .

National Cyber Security Alliance

NCSA's mission is to educate and therefore empower a digital society to use the Internet safely and securely at home, work, and school, protecting the technology individuals use, the networks they connect to, and our shared digital assets.

Remember~

Online? Be On Guard!