The Department of Homeland Security launched a public cybersecurity campaign on October 4, 2010.  The purpose of the campaign is to teach the public how to take simple steps to stay safe and secure online.

The internet safety campaign, dubbed “Stop. Think. Connect.,” aims to make internet security easier to understand and handle, so that good internet safety habits become second nature, like looking both ways before crossing a street.  DHS hopes to reduce instances of online fraud, identity theft, phishing scams, and victimization by online predators (child or otherwise).

According to the DHS and a CNET.com report, a recent national study showed that ninety-six percent of Americans feel a personal responsibility to stay safe and secure online, but twenty-eight percent of respondents said they didn’t have enough information about how to stay safe.

Tips for staying safe online include:

  • Install anti-virus software and make sure you keep it up to date.
  • Use strong passwords containing letters and numbers, lowercase and uppercase.
  • Use different passwords for different accounts.
  • Beware of suspicious links.
  • Never click on an emailed link that requests an update of your personal information.  If you need to update your personal information, first type the name of the website with which you have your account into your browser, then navigate to the correct page.
  • Use secure Wi-Fi networks.
  • If you connect to a public Wi-Fi network, make sure file sharing on your computer is turned off.
  • If you are a business, use secure networking technology, such as mpls vpn service.