Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

The Internet and Homeland Security

I was thrown for a loop this morning by an email I received. At first, I chalked it up to my coffee not having kicked in yet.. The email told me that the National Cyber Security Alliance (and was happy to tell me June is National Internet Safety Month.

This puzzled me for several reasons. One, I have been supporting NCSA for years.. why would they alert me to activity for June on June 11th? And not only that, but something else was “off” too.. June seemed early. So I did a little backtracking and quickly saw that I had been making folks aware of a “security awareness month”: NCSA’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month for the past several Octobers.

Now, it’s not real clear to me yet if they renamed it and moved the month, or if we have TWO national awareness month’s (with slightly different names) now.
And the message is identical for both awareness campaigns — Stop. Think. Connect.

“The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) and National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) led the development of the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign.  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security provides the Federal Government’s leadership for the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign.”

So, two things – at least – seem clear (my coffee’s kicking in): the Feds have woken up to the fact that this “cyber-crime” stuff has gotten serious; and they believe that User Education programs work.. and we need TWO “awareness” months. (Sorry, I don’t think there’s a lapel pin available yet.)

“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.”

Free video tutorials and helpful information is available on the website. Though much of the resources there are aimed at parents and teachers, I hope everyone will take a look.

.. and I have to say, I think this month’s name is a bit more “user friendly” ..

Mildly interesting: for the last several days, about half the spambot “Comments” left on this blog have had “Banana Nut Muffins” in the Name field …
I quote Bugs Bunny: People are they craaaaaziest animals!

Today’s free download: for those who don’t have the time to read the 32 pages of legalese  (don’t get me started on Lawyers..) that comprise the average End User License Agreement, the wonderful EULAlyzer. For description/review/download, see

Today’s quote:It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little – do what you can.”  ~ Sydney Smith

We spend more than 8 hours a day online? Really??

Copyright 2007-2012 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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June 11, 2012 Posted by | advice, computers, Internet, security | , | 5 Comments