Be Aware, Be Secure; October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

The word “cybersecurity” evokes images of secret government agencies and fictional, thriller storylines. Characters like Jason Bourne and Jack Bauer are the only ones who have to worry about cybersecurity, right?

In 2004, President George W. Bush proclaimed October to be National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), and over the past 13 years, cybersecurity has trickled from the realm of the federal government to our very own homes.

The unfortunate truth is that EVERYONE has think about his or her cybersecurity. That means understanding what the potential online risks are and knowing how to remain safe in a digital environment.

The Department of Homeland Security has outlined its weekly themes for October 2017. Click on the graphic to learn more about the themes.

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While these themes may resonate with adults rather than young people, there is certainly a lot for students to learn. Just think: how much of your life does not include some aspect of the internet? Do you play online games? Do you download apps to your phone? Do you pay bills online? Do you use Twitter, Snapchat, or Facebook? In each one of those instances, you had to create an account and provide personal information in order to have access to those services. The more information that person puts on the internet the more susceptible that person is to online threats such as viruses, scams, and stolen information. Cybersecurity awareness leads to smarter choices and a safer online experience.

At Colonial Heights Public Schools, the Office of Technology and Learning is taking an active role to begin providing information and resources to teachers and students so that they can take steps toward maintaining security over their online presence. is the Department of Homeland Security’s partner in providing research and advice to all online users. We recommend checking out their tips and advice so that you help yourself and your loved ones stay safe online.