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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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

June 11, 2012 - Posted by | advice, computers, Internet, security | ,


  1. Hey now… don’t lump me in with “we”. Although I have intimate knowledge of at least one person that lives online (8 hours is an understatement), I’m not one of them. At least not anymore.

    Perhaps that’s the reason I spend very little time surfing the net. I’m in the “One to two hour or less” group (some days not at all) mainly due to my MIA spouse who doesn’t hear a word I say; Is so preoccupied with games (and chat) on “MugNovel” that sleep is no longer a necessity… it’s an inconvenience. What happened to Real Life? Things like this used to invoke the adage “Get a life”. It appears that the internet has become RL for many people. I understand the attraction, as wrong as I think it is. The word “addiction” comes to mind.

    No offense intended to people who can juggle online experiences and still live up to the rest of their RL commitments. More power to you! Does anyone have a formula that enables your accomplishment?

    I did my time living online. I stopped visiting folks in person. We can’t leave the house or we might miss an “important” battle/chat, which starts at the most inopportune moment. Wikiots believe everything they read (or hear). Advertisements surely must be working or it wouldn’t generate so much revenue.

    The times they are a-changin’ ~Dylan~

    For the better? I’m not so sure.


    Comment by kstinman | June 11, 2012 | Reply

    • Kudos kstinman:
      … for identifying and expressing your honest views on “that side of the Internet”. Your valid evaluation supports my beliefs and questions… what is left that’s worth while as part of the the Internet?

      Each time I complain about the Same/Internet/Technology I am reminded that I frequently use Skype and I enjoy it. ..enabling me to stay in touch with friends and family. While I don’t like exposing my privacy, I do anyway… I rationalize my Safety/Skypeing I guess…so I’m still with it…as well as I’m on some blog sites that I enjoy.

      Being on line, working with the technology… sort of puts me in the “tender-hook-mode…sometimes wondering “what’s next’???

      I am ripe for this discussion because on the weekend I had to deal with two family members on the same or similar issues.

      Here’s hoping you find Real Life again!


      Comment by Gaia | June 11, 2012 | Reply

    • kstinman + Gaia,
      I was at first highly skeptical of that number. The number for the “young people” seemed reasonable for certain kids (my nephew cannot get enough hours in of online gaming) but not all or even most. And if the quote for adults is true..
      Well, several sayings popped into my mind.

      No. Nobody knows what the long-term ‘consequences’ of living in a “connected world” might be (it’s too soon). I read that the Internet has already changed how kids’ brains are wired, but I have no idea if there’s any truth to that.
      And.. I am of a different generation. Way I was raised, if it was nice outside you went out and shot baskets.. you didn’t fire up the TV and the Pong unit..

      But, I think we are supposed to find our “real” lives as interesting as the “online” world.. But it seems many are not.


      Comment by techpaul | June 11, 2012 | Reply

  2. Hey Paul, another great post! Really??…..Do you realize how much you help mankind every day here! Maybe even millions of people that you have never even met? I agree with you that folks can’t work for free forever, yet I sure hope this blog is still around awhile!
    Re: technology launch we spoke about last week is almost ready to present to the public and wasn’t clear on where we should send the NDA to you so I can share details with you? We still want you involved and the cash potential to you might even help you to keep this great blog going! Use the email address I used for your blog to let me know where to send the documents! Take care kind man! Tamara Duquette


    Comment by tamaraduquette | June 11, 2012 | Reply

    • tamaraduquette,
      Thank you for the kind words of encouragement.

      As I said in my original reply: those wanting to write me privately can do so using the “Contact Tech Paul” page (or the form) — listed at the top and right of this site (and also in my little “about” blurb).

      Here’s the (direct) URL link:

      That form will send me an email, which I will see.


      Comment by techpaul | June 11, 2012 | Reply

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