U.S. Army Europe Cybersecurity officials want to remind members of the U.S. forces community in Europe that October 2014 marks the 11th annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and that it’s everyone’s duty to protect Army information and communications.
Today the Internet is part of everyone’s life, every day. But while people routinely use the Internet at work and at home for enjoyment and to connect with friends and family, being constantly connected brings increased risk of theft, fraud and abuse, said Daniel Hingtgen, chief of Cybersecurity, Policy, Programs and Training for the USAREUR office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications (G6).
No country, industry, community or individual is immune to cyber risks. As a nation, Hingtgen noted, Americans face constant cyber threats against the nation’s critical infrastructure and economy. As individuals, cybersecurity risks can threaten finances, identity and privacy.
“Our reliance on critical infrastructure and the digital technology that operates it makes cybersecurity one of the U.S.’s most important national security priorities and one in which every American has a role to play,” he said. “The slogan ‘Cybersecurity is a team effort’ underscores that shared responsibility.”
During the month USAREUR cybersecurity officials said they plan to engage the Army in Europe community through events and initiatives designed to raise awareness, to educate people about cybersecurity, and to increase the resiliency of cyber infrastructure to prevent or respond to cyber incidents.
Free cybersecurity courses will be offered in communities across USAREUR, officials added, to provide social networking systems awareness and training to service members, Defense Department civilian employees, contractors and family members.
In U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart, the Army Europe Information Technology Training Program will offer two free cybersecurity awareness briefings Oct. 27 in the Patch Theater. A morning session will be held from 9-11 a.m. and an afternoon session from 1-3 p.m.
Attendees will learn how to take charge of their online safety by protecting personal information; creating strong, secure passwords; using security software; and understanding how data is shared.
The briefings are open to service members, Department of Defense civilian employees, contractors and family members.
USAREUR’s cybersecurity experts also recommended the following basic year-round cybersecurity tips:
Protect Your System:
• Use anti-virus software.
• Protect home networks with firewalls.
• Password-protect your wireless router and network.
• Regularly download security up dates and patches.
• Disconnect from the Internet when not in use.
• Back-up your computer regularly.
• Restrict access to your computer and accounts; sharing has risks.
• Delete email from unknown sources.
• Use hard-to-guess passwords and keep them private.
Protect Your Family:
Help your family check computer security on a regular basis.