Online privacy and security is a shared responsibility in the digital age.  From individuals and businesses, to government agencies, everyone is at risk from both external and internal factors.   As digital citizens, protecting ourselves online comes down to one key principle: an ongoing commitment to education and awareness.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and the theme is once again our shared responsibility.  You can follow the conversation at #NCSAM. National Cyber Security Awareness Month reminds us that no individual, business or government entity is solely responsible for securing the Internet.  Because the Internet is a shared resource, securing it is our shared responsibility.

In 2010, the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) and National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) launched the Stop Think Connect campaign. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security provides leadership of the campaign at the federal level.  The goal of the campaign is to educate us on the steps we can take to protect ourselves online in addition to making us aware of the consequences of our online behavior so that we can all safely enjoy the benefits of the Internet.  The meaning of campaign slogan is as follows:

Stop: Before you use the Internet, take time to understand the risks and learn how to spot potential problems.

Think: Take a moment to be certain the path ahead is clear. Watch for warning signs and consider how your actions online could impact your safety, or your family’s.

Connect: Enjoy the Internet with greater confidence, knowing you’ve taken the right steps to safeguard yourself and your devices.

As a Gen Xer and parent, I must empower my born digital kids to act responsibly and take ownership of their portion of cyberspace.  We’ve come along way from analog mix tapes to the cloud, but now we must always Stop & Think before we Connect.  Are you an analog brain living in the digital world too? I would love to hear your thoughts.