TIPS: Stop.Think.Connect. September Update (DHS)

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September 2013 Update


  • Be Cyber Ready: September is National Preparedness Month
  • DHS Component Spotlight: Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • National Cyber Security Awareness Month Updates
  • Partner Spotlights       


September national preparedness month

September is National Preparedness Month and this year’s theme is “You Can Be the Hero.” This means everyone has a role in emergency preparedness. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), sponsor of National Preparedness Month, works to Protect against, Prepare for, Respond to and Recover from emergencies.  These concepts can easily be applied to cyber preparedness as well. Take the following steps to make sure you are cyber ready:


  • Protect your devices. Keep your computer and laptop antivirus software and operating systems up-to-date. Password-protect your mobile devices. Keep your items safe and know where your devices are at all times when traveling.
  • Prepare yourself, your friends, and your family for cyber threats. Encourage everyone you know to set strong passwords, limit what they share online, and set strong privacy settings.
  • Respond to emails and texts with caution. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Do not respond to unknown email addresses or phone numbers.
  • Recover from an incident. If you believe you have been the victim of a cyber incident, call your manufacturer help desk or work IT office. If you have been a victim of identity theft or fraud, check your credit card statements and credit report, and file a claim with the Federal Trade Commission.

FEMA manages National Preparedness Month through the Ready Campaign, and has developed a toolkit to help local, state, and national-level organizations develop materials, plan events, and conduct outreach during the month. The toolkit is available to anyone who joins FEMA’s National Preparedness Community. For more information, visit


National Preparedness Community

The Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign promotes the idea that “cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility.” The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) takes a similar stance with their “whole community” approach to emergency management. FEMA – charged with helping the nation better prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from all types of emergencies – understands that the Federal government and first responders cannot be solely responsible for the preparedness of the United States. To truly be prepared for a natural or man-made disaster, the “whole community” needs to take part in emergency management.

This whole community approach includes individuals and families, faith-based and other community organizations, non-profits, private sector businesses, and other Federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial emergency management agencies and first responder organizations. These groups, along with FEMA, form the nation’s larger collective emergency team.

One of the key principles of the whole community approach is to “engage and empower all parts of the community.” To help promote this principle, FEMA formed the National Preparedness Community. Facilitated through, this is an online community for everyone with an interest in or responsibility for emergency preparedness. On this site, people can join specific communities of practice (private sector, faith-based, or first responders), access preparedness tips and resources, participate in discussion forums, and share or find preparedness-related events. As of July 2013, approximately 26,900 people had joined the National Preparedness Community.

While much of the National Preparedness Community focuses on physical hazards – including tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes, and man-made disasters – there is a cyber presence on the site. Recent cyber-related activity includes discussion and promotion of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, announcement of cyber seminars and workshops, and links to FEMA’s Ready.Gov tips on cybersecurity for businesses.

FEMA incorporated the whole community approach during its last National Level Exercise (NLE). NLE 2012 was the first time FEMA conducted an exercise around a significant cyber incident scenario. During the capstone event for NLE 2012, exercise participants were asked to coordinate a whole community response to a cyber event that caused physical emergencies. Participants practiced how they would work with and include community groups in their emergency response to the scenario.

For more information on the whole community approach, visit


National Cyber Security Awareness Month is just a couple of weeks away! Below you can find more information about each of the weekly focus areas for the month. For more information on each of these events, visit

  • Week One, October 1-4: Our Shared Responsibility: Stop.Think.Connect., Cybersecurity in the Next 10 Years
  • Key Event: National Cybersecurity Awareness Month Launch and Panel Session, October 1, Boston, Massachusetts. Panel session will include private sector and government representatives discussing “10 Years of Cybersecurity: How Far We’ve Come and How Far We Need to Go”
  • Week Two, October 7-11: Being Mobile: Online Safety and Security
  • Key Event: Washington, DC
  • Week Three, October 14-18: Cyber Workforce and the Next Generation of Cyber Leaders
  • Key Event: Los Angeles, CA college event focusing on youth and young adults
  • Week Four, October 21-25: Cyber Crime
  • Key Event: October 23-24, multiple law-enforcement focused events in Chicago, IL
  • Associated Event: October 21, DHS and official guests will participate in the Opening Bell Ceremony at NASDAQ in New York City
  • Week Five, October 27-31: Critical Infrastructure
  • Key Event: National Cybersecurity Awareness Month Closing Event and introduction to Cybersecurity Infrastructure Protection Month in Washington, DC

How can you get involved in National Cybersecurity Awareness Month?

Friends of the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign are encouraged to get involved in NCSAM.

Attend a NCSAM Event

Stop.Think.Connect. National Network members and Cyber Coalition partners, National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) partners, and other government, private sector, and academic organizations are hosting NCSAM events around the country. For a list of events, visit

Participate in a NCSAM Twitter Chat

During National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the National Cyber Security Alliance will host Twitter chats focusing on each week’s dedicated topic. For a schedule of Twitter chats and how to participate, visit


The Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign would like to thank its National Network and Cyber Coalition partners for all the great work they do in promoting cybersecurity across the nation.

AFCEA Logo  

Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA)

AFCEA recently launched a cyber webpage at On this page, AFCEA promotes the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign and National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and posts cyber-related AFCEA news, educational opportunities, and events.


National Consumers League/Fraud.Org

NCL recently released a fraud alert on scams involving the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations. Scammers are using a variety of methods – including email – to trick consumers into purchasing fraudulent plans. More information on this fraud and many others can be found at
International Chiefs of Police  




International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)

IACP is hosting its 120th Annual International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference and Law Enforcement Education and Technology Exposition on October 19-23, 2013 in Philadelphia. A one-pager about the Campaign will be included in conference materials and will be distributed to more than 14,000 attendees. For more information visit the IACP Conference webpage.


Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

The FTC has posted several new blogs about online safety on Recent blogs focus on new consumer education on using internet protocol (IP) cameras safely and online and mobile device safety tips for kids as they head back to school. To receive timely online safety tips, subscribe to

  Federal Trade Commission logo

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Updated: September 22, 2013 — 12:04 am

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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