NEWS.GOV: Stop.Think.Connect. August 2014 Update: Supply Yourself with Back-to-School Online Safety Tips

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Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign Update August 2014

In this Issue

  • Supply Yourself with Back-to-School Online Safety Tips
  • September is National Preparedness Month
  • National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2014 Weekly Locations
  • Partner Spotlight: Stop.Think.Connect. Academic Alliance
  • Federal Spotlight: DHS Promotes Cyber Education and Careers
Back to school computer

Supply Yourself with Back-to-School Online Safety Tips 

The beginning of the school year is an exciting time for students – a time to return to old friends, make new friends, and tackle new subjects. While cybersecurity may not be a subject on every school’s curriculum, with the prevalence of computers in the classroom and at home, online safety is a practical set of skills that is important for every student to know. The Department of Education estimates there is a computer for every 5.3 students in the United States. That is a lot of computers, and teachers cannot be with each student while they’re online. The Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign believes that students of all grades should know how to protect themselves and practice safe online behavior.

Whether at home or at school, parents and educators should work with their kids and students to be aware of threats online and how they can take steps to protect themselves. A good start is to make sure they follow these simple tips from Stop.Think.Connect.:

  • Be careful about what you share online. Try to keep your real name out of your screen names and passwords. Do not give out your birth date, address, or other personal information. Try not to talk to people you do not know. If you do talk to a stranger, it is okay to not give them all the information they are asking for. Understand that any pictures or videos you post can be copied and posted to other Internet sites.
  • Connect with care. Do not click on links or open emails from people you do not know. Cyber criminals use emails and links that look okay to lure people into clicking. This is how they can deliver viruses or other malware to your computer, and conduct criminal activities like stealing your identity.
  • Tell an adult. If you see something bad online, are contacted by someone you do not know or do not want to talk to or see cyber-bullying take place, do not try and retaliate or get involved. Talk to a trusted adult and work together on how to solve the problem.
  • Be a good online citizen. Understand that what you do online is the same as what you do in person. Be careful what you post or say about others.

For more information about talking to the students in your life about online safety, review the Stop.Think.Connect. resources for parents and educators at

September is National Preparedness Month

Every September, the President of the United States designates September as National Preparedness Month. The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) manages National Preparedness Month, with this year’s theme of “Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare.”

For National Preparedness Month 2014, FEMA is encouraging every American to understand the risks of many types of disasters, and how to take steps to protect themselves. This September, each week is dedicated to looking at a specific action people can take to prepare for emergencies:

  • Week 1, September 1-7: How to… Reconnect with Family After a Disaster
  • Week 2, September 8-14: Know How to plan for specific needs before a Disaster
  • Week 3, September 15-21: How to… Build an Emergency Kit
  • Weeks 4 & 5- September 22-30: How to… Practice for an emergency.

Visit for more information about National Preparedness Month and how you can participate.


National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2014 Weekly Locations

Planning for National Cyber Security Awareness Month is underway! Each week of National Cyber Security Awareness Month is dedicated to a specific theme, and includes a keystone event. Since cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, with everyone in the nation playing a role, DHS plans its keystone events to take place throughout the country. Below are the locations for this year’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month weeks:

  • Week One: October 1-3, 2014Promote Online Safety with the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign. National Cyber Security Awareness Month kicks off in Nashville, Tennessee, at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers Annual Conference.
  • Week Two: October 6-10, 2014Secure Development of IT Products. Week two’s keystone event will be a virtual event. More details will be announced soon.
  • Week Three: October 13-17, 2014Critical Infrastructure and the Internet of Things.Week three’s keystone event will take place in San Diego, California. More details will be announced soon.
  • Week Four: October 20-24, 2015Cybersecurity for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses and Entrepreneurs. Week four’s keystone event will take place in Austin, Texas. More details will be announced soon.
  • Week Five: October 27-31, 2014Cyber Crime and Law Enforcement. National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2014 will conclude with week five’s keystone event at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Organizations across the country are hosting events for National Cyber Security Awareness Month. To find the latest list of events, or submit your own event, visit

For the latest information on National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2014,

Partner Spotlight: Stop.Think.Connect. Academic Alliance 

Stop.Think.Connect. relies on partners to help spread the online safety message. Since 2012, the Stop.Think.Connect. National Network and Cyber Awareness Coalition have brought together over 90 non-profit and government partners who use Campaign resources and share their own cybersecurity resources.

DHS launched the Academic Alliance, the newest Stop.Think.Connect. partner program, in February 2014. The Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign Academic Alliance is a nationwide network of non-profit colleges and universities committed to promoting safer online practices. Since Academia is often at the forefront of expanding our ever-evolving cyber universe, universities have an opportunity to lead by example in ensuring the online practices of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the community are as secure as possible.

Since its launch, over 26 colleges and universities have joined the Academic Alliance, with more joining almost weekly. For a full list of Academic Alliance members, visit

Academic Alliance Member Logos

Federal Spotlight: DHS Promotes Cyber Education and Careers 

Stop.Think.Connect. believes that cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. But the speed of technology advances means that cybersecurity needs to keep up with ever evolving threats. Part of responding to and protecting against these threats is to have a strong cyber workforce – professionals who are dedicated to solving the next generation of cybersecurity challenges. To do this, the Department of Homeland Security is dedicated to promoting cybersecurity education, training, and careers. That’s where the DHS Cybersecurity Education and Awareness Branch steps in.

The mission of the Cybersecurity Education and Awareness Branch is to lead national cybersecurity public awareness, education, training, and workforce development efforts to support the protection against and response to cyber threats and hazards to the Homeland’s economic and national security.  This mission supports the President’s National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), a nationally-coordinated effort comprised of more than 20 federal departments and agencies, and numerous partners in academia and industry, and it focuses on cybersecurity awareness, education, training and professional development.

The Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign and National Cyber Security Awareness Month comprise the “awareness” activities of the Cybersecurity Education and Awareness Branch.  DHS conducts a wide range of activities to promote and support cyber education and workforce development, including:

  • Maintaining a catalog of cybersecurity training resources
  • Promoting teaching tools and hands-on learning for cybersecurity
  • Identifying and promoting cyber competitions to raise interest in cyber as a career
  • Providing in-person and virtual cybersecurity training tools for federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government staff
  • Identifying and sharing best practices on recruiting, retention, and career development
  • Assessing the current state and gaps of the nation’s cybersecurity workforce

Much of DHS’ cyber education and training efforts can be found on the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies (NICCS) online portal. NICCS ( is an online portal developed to address the needs of the nation by making information on cybersecurity training, education, and career opportunities available in a centralized, searchable, and usable online location. NICCS is the first website that compiles relevant and reliable cybersecurity information and makes it available to the public in one place.

Stop.Think.Connect. feedback

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Twitter: @cyber@dhsgov, and @STOPTHNKCONNECT

Updated: August 12, 2014 — 6:47 pm

The Author

Rich Fleetwood

Rich is the founder of SurvivalRing, now in it's 24th year, author of multimedia CDs and DVDs, loves the outdoors, his family, his geeky skill-set, and lives in rural southern Wyoming, just below the continental divide (long story, that...). Always ready to help others, he shares what he learns on multiple blogs, many social sites, and more. With a background in preparedness and survival skills, training with county, state, and national organizations, and skills in all areas of media and on air experience in live radio and television, Rich is always thinking about the "big picture", when it comes to helping individuals and families prepare for life's little surprises.

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