Protection from Online Risks

Increased Awareness is at the Core of National Internet Safety Month
June has been declared National Internet Safety Month. What is the mission behind the designation, and how can individuals and organizations contribute to the "Stop, Think, Connect" campaign?

"It's an opportunity to remind people of what they need to do to stay safe and secure online," says Michael Kaiser, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based National Cyber Security Alliance. "June is a good time to do that. Schools are getting out for the summer, and kids are spending more time online than they did during the school year. They may have more free time ... and so we just want to remind people during this period of the kinds of things they can do to stay safer and more secure online, and to remind parents that they should be talking to their children about online safety and security."

Among the top risks to discuss: Malware and its power to infect PCs and the ever-growing array of mobile devices used for personal and professional reasons. And while children certainly are one focus for education, adults need greater awareness, too.

"The people most at risk are the ones who aren't paying any attention to risk at all," Kaiser says. "It doesn't really matter whether they're 15, 50 or 95. If they think there's no risk at all on the Internet, or if they don't play any role themselves at protecting themselves online, they're going to be at risk."

In an interview about National Internet Safety Month, Kaiser discusses:

  • Today's top cyber risks and targets;
  • The message behind the NCSA's campaign of "Stop, Think, Connect;"
  • How organizations and individuals can help.

Kaiser joined the National Cyber Security Alliance in 2008. As NCSA's chief executive, he engages diverse constituencies - business, government, other non-profit organizations - in NCSA's broad public education and outreach efforts to strengthen the nation's cyber infrastructure, including leadership of NCSA's premier outreach and awareness campaign, National Cyber Security Awareness Month. NCSA builds efforts through public-private partnerships that address cyber security issues for home users (parents and children), K-12 and higher education, and small business.

Before joining NCSA, Kaiser spent 25 years in the field of victim's services and rights, holding senior staff positions at the National Center for Victims of Crime in Washington, D.C., and Safe Horizon in New York.

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