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DHS kicks off Cyber security awareness month

Janet Napolitano

DHS secretary Janet Napolitano called on private businesses and citizens to help secure Cyber space as the department kicked off its ninth National Cyber Security Awareness Month program.

“To ensure our nation’s security in Cyber space, each of us must play our part,” said Napolitano in an Oct. 1 statement.  

As part of DHS’ Cyber awareness effort, the agency’s National Protection and Programs Directorate deputy under secretary for Cyber security Mark Weatherford participated in a kick-off event on Oct. 1 with White House Cyber security coordinator Michael Daniel, and Nebraska Lieutenant Governor Rick Sheehy at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

During October, DHS said it will call on all Americans to ACT—“Achieve Cybersecurity Together.” Each week throughout the month, it also said it would dispatch leaders to visit various cities across the nation to raise Cyber security awareness.

In an Oct. 1 post on the DHS Web blog, Napolitano said combating evolving Cyber threats requires a wide ranging joint public/private effort, from government and law enforcement to the private sector and most importantly, members of the public. “We know it only takes a single infected computer to potentially infect thousands and perhaps millions of others.  That’s why it is our goal at the DHS to make basic Cyber security practices as reflexive as putting on a seatbelt,” she said.

Napolitano urged practical common-sense approaches to everyday online security in her post, including use antivirus software; being cautious about Web sites and opening suspicious emails and attachments; setting strong passwords and not sharing them; keep operating systems, browsers, and other critical software optimized by installing updates; maintain an open dialogue with family, friends, and community about Internet safety; limit the amount of personal information posted online, and using privacy settings.


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