The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), a non-profit public-private partnership focused on cybersecurity awareness and education for all digital citizens, is celebrating National Internet Safety Month this June by encouraging all Internet users to follow three simple steps when connecting to the Web: STOP. THINK. CONNECT.
NCSA also encourages every adult to take a few moments to teach a young person about better online safety so that they use good judgment and behavior all-year long.
National Internet Safety Month brings an important opportunity to evaluate our digital behaviors and identify better ways to increase online safety. NCSA research released in November 2011 found that less than half of the U.S. population (46%) reports that they feel safe from viruses, malware and hackers while roughly half (48%) of parents are not completely confident that their kids can use the Internet safely (http://www.staysafeonline.org/in-the-home/research-and-resources).
This data shows that Americans should further embrace their shared responsibility in making the Internet safer. Additionally, as young peoples' online use increases during summer break, parents should remain committed to teaching their children how to stay safe online.
To help with this, NCSA advises Web users to follow the below steps when accessing the Internet:
- STOP: Before using the Internet, take time to understand the risks and learn how to spot potential problems.
- THINK: Take a moment to be certain the path ahead is clear. Watch for warning signs and consider how your actions online could impact your safety, your kids' safety or that of your family.
- CONNECT: Enjoy the Internet with greater confidence, knowing you've taken the right steps to safeguard yourself, your family and your computer.
"Everyone – youth and adults alike – can benefit from learning better Internet safety practices and should become more aware of potential threats. Recent research by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that youth ages 8-18 spend upwards of eight hours online daily while most adults spend an even greater amount of time on the Internet per day," said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance.
"This is why integrating these three simple steps: STOP. THINK. CONNECT. into your online experience is critical to staying safer and more secure. Considering how critical Internet access is to our daily lives, we want all Internet users to understand that they have a shared responsibility in protecting themselves online and that safer practices online help protect everyone."
STOP. THINK. CONNECT. is the first-ever coordinated public-service campaign to help all digital citizens stay safer and more secure online. In the less than two years NCSA, in collaboration with government and industry partners, has reached millions and millions of people in the United States and throughout the world with this important, research-backed message.
The campaign is led in the government by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. You can learn more about this campaign and many other effective online safety tips at www.stopthinkconnect.org.
As part of its National Internet Safety Month activities, NCSA is also participating in a Twitter Chat about online safety and security with @Verizon and @STOPTHNKCONNECT on Thursday, July 21st from 3-4:00 p.m. ET.
Participants can follow along at #OnlineSafety. In addition to celebrating National Internet Safety Month, NCSA is gearing up for National Cyber Security Awareness Month this October 2012.
Throughout the month of October, NCSA and its partners will raise awareness about the importance of online safety and provide a wealth of information about staying safe online.
For more information about the National Cyber Security Alliance and National Cyber Security Awareness Month, visit www.staysafeonline.org. You can also connect with the organization for the latest news and updates on Facebook at www.facebook.com/staysafeonline and on Twitter at @StaySafeOnline.