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National Cyber Security Awareness Month

National Cyber Security Awareness Month logo

This Year's National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM)

Information Technology Services is participating in the National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) campaign during the month of October. We will be promoting best practices to help you do your part and #BeCyberSmart when faced with suspicious cyber activity.


As a NCSAM champion, all month long, we will be sharing valuable information/security tips on this page, our social media accounts, and digital signage screens across campus to help raise awareness on this important initiative.

Do your part. #BeCyberSmart

Here are a few key things to keep in mind to help do your part. #BeCyberSmart when online.

  • Think Before you Click
    If you receive an enticing offer via email or text, don’t be so quick to click the link. Instead, if you’re unsure about the email and it looks “phishy,” do not respond and do not click on any links or open any attachments – instead use the Report Phish button in your email to report the phishing message to our Information Security team who will verify whether or not it’s legitimate.
  • Lock Down Your Login
    Create long and unique passwords for all your accounts and use two step/multi-factor authentication, such as Duo wherever possible. Also, remember to change the passwords to your accounts occasionally.
  • Share with Care
    Think before posting about yourself and others online. Consider what a post or your profile reveals, who might see it, and how it might affect you or others. Some cyber criminals may use the details you share on your profile as clues to help them gain access into your financial accounts.
  • Get Savvy About Wi-Fi Hotspots
    Public wireless networks and hotspots are not secure, which means that anyone could potentially see what you are doing on your laptop or smartphone while connected to them. It is okay to simply browse the web on these networks, but limit what you do on public Wi-Fi and avoid logging into sites such as your email or bank accounts. Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) or a personal/mobile hotspot, if you need a more secure connection.
  • Keep a Clean Machine
    Make sure you update to the latest software and operating system on internet-connected devices such as your laptop and smartphone. This reduces risk of infection from ransomware and malware. Configure your devices to automatically update or notify you when an update is available.
  • Own Your Online Presence
    Every time you sign up for a new social media account, download a new app, or get a new device, configure the privacy and security settings to your comfort level for information sharing. Regularly check these settings to make sure they are still configured to your comfort.
  • Cybersecurity is Everyone’s Job
    It is everyone’s job to practice good cyber security. It’s important to do your part and #BeCyberSmart.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month Weekly Themes

  • If you connect it. Protect it. (Week 1 Theme: October 5-9)
    The line between our online and offline lives is indistinguishable. This network of connections creates both opportunities and challenges for individuals and organizations across the globe. The first week of Cybersecurity Awareness Month will highlight the ways in which internet-connected devices have impacted our lives, and empower all users to own their role in security by taking steps to reduce their risks.
  • Securing Devices at Home and Work (Week 2 Theme: October 12-16)
    2020 saw a major disruption in the way many of us work, learn, and socialize online. Our homes, businesses and organizations are more connected than ever. With more people now working from home, these internet-connected environments are colliding on a scale we’ve never seen before, introducing a whole new set of potential vulnerabilities that users must be conscious of. Week 2 of Cybersecurity Awareness Month will focus on steps users and organizations can take to protect internet-connected devices for both personal and professional use.
  • Securing Internet-Connected Devices in Education (Week 3 Theme: October 19-23)
    The education industry is increasingly relying upon internet-connected devices and solutions to improve student experiences, organizational efficiency, speed of crisis response, and much more. The emergence of online learning, digital records, internet-connected learning devices, education apps has created many benefits, but has also exposed schools to vulnerabilities that cyber criminals regularly attempt to exploit. The third week of Cybersecurity Awareness Month will dive into the field of education, implications of internet-connected device use and what steps can be taken for faculty, administrators and students to do their part and #BeCyberSmart.
  • The Future of Connected Devices (Week 4 Theme: October 26-30)
    The final week of Cybersecurity Awareness Month will look at the future of connected devices. This week will look at how technological innovations, such as 5G, might impact users’ online experiences (e.g. faster speeds and data transmission, larger attack surface for hackers), as well as how people/infrastructure can adapt to the continuous evolution of connected devices moving forward. No matter what the future holds, however, every user needs to be empowered to do their part.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month Events

Come learn more about cyber safety, and share your cyber security knowledge at our virtual SecurityFest event for a chance to win prizes and giveaways!

Event When Where
SecurityFest Wednesday, October 21; 11:30 am - 1:30 pm Zoom

NCSAM Resources