Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2021: “Do Your Part. Be #CyberSmart

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The steady stream of news about ransomware attacks, phishing emails and identity theft can feel overwhelming. That’s why the goal of October’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month is to empower every American with the tools and knowledge necessary to stay safer online.

This annual event, now in its 18th year, has shifted focus over the years from offering basic internet safety tips—like keeping your software updated—to providing a vast range of educational resources for individuals, families, schools and businesses.

Sponsored by The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the campaign’s stated purpose is to “raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity across our nation, ensuring that all Americans have the resources they need to be safer and more secure online.”

As the NCSA notes, “In these tech-fueled times, our homes, societal well-being, economic prosperity and nation’s security are impacted by the internet.”

This year’s theme, “Do Your Part. Be #CyberSmart,” emphasizes the role of personal accountability and proactive behavior.

Whether it’s using strong passwords to protect your online data, investing in internet security to block the spread of malware, or simply thinking twice before clicking on a link, your actions make a difference. After all, the Colonial pipeline attack that shut down the biggest fuel pipeline in the U.S.—leading to shortages across the East Coast—was the result of a single compromised password.

By following the security best practices provided by the campaign, as well as sharing them with friends, colleagues and family, you can make our interconnected world a safer place.

Each week in October will focus on a specific area, beginning with newbie basics like creating powerful passwords, using two-factor authentication and backing up your data.

Consecutive weeks will cover how to recognize and avoid phishing attacks; explore the burgeoning field of careers in cybersecurity; and illustrate how the actions we take today can affect the future of IT security.

ESET’s activities during Cybersecurity Awareness Month include a contest with prizes, a ransomware webinar and free cybersecurity awareness training.

You can access free resources like tip sheets, videos and infographics, including materials for K-12, small businesses, and government organizations, from the National Cybersecurity Alliance at