National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM).  Sponsored by the National Cyber Security Division within the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, NCSAM has, since its inception in 2004, promoted educating the public about cyber security threats, how to recognize and prevent them, and how to remain safe while online.

According to the July 26, 2011 edition of the eMarketer Blog, an estimated 148 million US consumers purchased something online.  Internet Retailer estimates that retail sales reached $44.1 billion by the end of 2010.  Each of these online transactions required some form of sensitive information like Credit Card numbers, Checking Account numbers, or PayPal Account information.

Looking at the figures, it’s pretty easy to see why cyber security has become an ever-increasing area of concern.

In a series of blogs presented over the next several weeks, I’ll be exploring some of the most pressing cyber security issues and how they affect the average online user.  These blogs will cover such topics as identity theft and how to prevent it, and scams, phishing, hoaxes, and other tricks of the cyber theft trade.

In addition, we’ll be gearing up for a presentation in October entitled Cyber Security:  Protecting Your Data – Protecting Yourself.  Keep an eye out for these and other upcoming events and announcements.

I should also mention that the new IT Training Room is almost finished. I’ve received several e-mails asking about when training classes will resume.  Our plan is to begin offering classes again during the first week of September.  Aside from the standard intro courses, we’ll be offering a complete menu of custom courses, Master Courses offering certificates of completion, and for the first time, we’ll also be featuring a few courses during free period specifically developed for students.

If you have any questions, please contact Ben Jezierski, IT Training Coordinator at Ext. 3386, or by e-mail at