Few of us need to be reminded of the impact cyberspace has on our lives. From the kitchen table to the classroom, from business transactions to essential government operations and services, cybersecurity is an issue for all of us. National Cybersecurity Awareness Month reminds us that being safe and secure online is a shared responsibility. During the month of October and throughout the year we call on you to ACT and join DHS in "Achieving Cybersecurity Together."
While increased connectivity has led to significant transformations and advances across the world, it has also increased our shared risk. Every day, criminals and terrorist organizations use cyberspace to exploit vulnerabilities. Their goal is to steal money, ideas, and information. In some cases they may disrupt, threaten, or destroy the availability of critical services such as electric power and running water.
Combating evolving cyber threats requires the engagement of our entire society -- 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 cybersecurity practices as reflexive as putting on a seatbelt.
During National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we are asking everyone to take these basic steps to improve your online safety and to protect cyberspace:
Use antivirus software
Be careful which websites you visit
Don't open emails or attachments that look suspicious
Set strong passwords, and don't share them with anyone
Keep your operating system, browser, and other critical software optimized by installing updates
Maintain an open dialogue with your family, friends, and community about Internet safety
Limit the amount of personal information you post online, and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely
Be cautious about what you receive or read online -- if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
Please help us continue to spread the word about how to stay safe online. And after we ensure that our computers are safe and secure throughout October, let's continue to protect them throughout the year.
Thank you for your commitment and dedication to this critically important issue. And thank you for your continued partnership as we protect our nation's cyber systems and networks.