National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2012:
Are You the Weakest Link?
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month—for the ninth straight year. So what’s new?
Well, since last October, the threat has continued to grow even more complex and sophisticated. Just 12 days ago, in fact, FBI Director Robert Mueller said that “cyber security may well become our highest priority in the years to come.”
For its part, the FBI is strengthening its cyber operations to sharpen its focus on the greatest cyber threats to national security: computer intrusions and network attacks. We are enhancing the technological capabilities of all investigative personnel and hiring additional computer scientists to provide expert technical support to critical investigations. We are creating two distinct task forces in each field office: Cyber Task Forces, focused on intrusions and network attacks that will draw on our existing cyber squads; and Child Exploitation Task Forces, focused on crimes against children. We are also increasing the size and scope of the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force—the FBI-led multi-agency focal point for coordinating and sharing cyber threat information to stop current and future attacks.
The FBI also runs several other cyber-related programs, including the Innocent Images National Initiative—which combats online child predators—and the Internet Crime Complaint Center—a partnership between the Bureau and the National White Collar Crime Center that serves as a clearinghouse for triaging cyber complaints and provides an easy-to-use online tool for reporting these complaints.
Because of the interconnectedness of online systems, every American who uses digital technologies at home or in the office can—and must—play a part in cyber security. For example, if you open a virus-laden e-mail attachment at work, you could infect your entire company’s computer network. Don’t be the weakest link: get educated on cyber safety.
Here are a few basic steps you can take to be more secure:
- Set strong passwords, and don’t share them with anyone.
- Keep a clean machine—your operating system, browser, and other critical software are optimized by installing regular 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.
Visit the links below for more tips on protecting your computers and other electronic devices, information on cyber threats, and details on how to report cyber crimes or scams:
For more information:
– FBI Cyber Crime Webpage
– Department of Homeland Security Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign
– Department of Homeland Security’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month Website
– StaySafeOnline Website