Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Secure Our World

  • Published
  • CyberSecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency

Since 2004, the President of the United States and Congress have declared the month of October to be Cybersecurity Awareness Month, a dedicated month for the public and private sectors to work together to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity.

In recognition of the 20th Cybersecurity Awareness Month, CyberSecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA announced a new enduring cybersecurity awareness program, Secure Our World. Secure Our World reflects a new enduring message to be integrated across the awareness campaigns and programs and encourages everyone to take steps each day to protect themselves when online or using connected devices.

The program promotes behavioral change, with a particular focus on how individuals, families and small to medium-sized businesses can Secure Our World.

Harold Irwin, the Director of Signal and Communications for U.S. Army Garrison Italy, says there are four main ways for families and individuals to keep safe.

Step 1: Use strong passwords, they should be unique and random, and include uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols.

Step 2: Use multi-factor authentication (MFA).

A factor in authentication is a way of confirming your identity when you try to sign in. For example, a password is one kind of factor, it's a thing you know. The three most common kinds of factors are:

  • Something you know - Like a password, or a memorized PIN. 
  • Something you have - Like a smartphone, or a secure USB key. 
  • Something you are - Like a fingerprint, or facial recognition. 

Step 3: Recognize and report phishing, especially from your bank, any unsolicited messages or emails can be easily spoofs. Do something that you know contacts your bank, not just a random email you receive.

Step 4: Update your software, if it’s not automatically updated, check for updates regularly.

“Another example of something to watch for is receiving an email from your bank saying you are preapproved, but you weren’t asking your bank for it, you might actually get your identity stolen," Irwin said.

Click here for more tips on how to protect yourself and your family.

(Randall Jackson, U.S. Army Garrison Italy Public Affairs, contributed to this report)