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General Alexander Statement Regarding Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Release No: PA-050-18 Oct. 8, 2012 PRINT | E-MAIL

Every day Americans become more and more integrated into cyberspace in both our personal and professional lives. Cyberspace gives us mobility and convenience; it is now possible to never be "out of touch" with friends and loved ones. Our phones are now Smart Phones; our cars connect to the Internet. We shop online bank online stay in touch online. For many of us being "unplugged" is almost unthinkable. The capabilities of cyberspace help us to manage our increasingly hectic lives.

But with all this convenience comes vulnerability. Increasingly sophisticated technologies and capabilities have not provided protection from risk in cyberspace. And far too many of us are willing to leave our security in cyberspace to "someone else."

This October we mark the ninth "National Cybersecurity Awareness Month." The events planned and information available during this month and throughout the year present an opportunity for each of us to consider our online behavior and to identify ways to make our online activities and presence safer and more secure.

Far too many of us have been affected in some way by dangers in cyberspace - viruses malware and identity theft are increasingly prevalent and cost millions of dollars each year in time and money. The growing popularity and availability of mobile devices and the hundreds of applications for use on these devices present attractive targets for cyber criminals whose capabilities are growing in number and sophistication.

Cyberspace has become an integral part of our daily lives. It is critical that we recognize not only the amazing opportunities it provides but also the risks that exist. Each of us is responsible for taking appropriate measures to secure our activities and our online presence. While this begins with the installation of strong security software this is only the first step.

We all must work to be safe users on the Internet. This National Cybersecurity Awareness Month I urge each of you to consider how you can set an example not just at work but also at home by practicing good network hygiene with strong passwords and security protection and by ensuring that our Internet-savvy children and grandchildren are as familiar with the principles of cybersecurity as they are with the latest games and apps.

Just as we all benefit from the Internet we all share responsibility for ensuring our collective security there. Cybersecurity Awareness Month provides an opportunity for a national dialogue about how to do this but it is critical that awareness of cybersecurity becomes automatic in all of our cyber activities every day of the year.