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US cyber month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2014, in the United States. The US federal authorities describe it as an effort to increase the American public’s understanding of basic cybersecurity practices and the role each plays in keeping cyberspace safe and secure.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) makes the point that US essential services and critical infrastructure increasingly rely on cyber networks and systems. Improving the security and resilience of these networks is one of DHS’s core missions.

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said: “Today our nation’s cyber networks are as much a part of the American homeland as they are indispensable to modern life in America – the very backbone of our 21st century economy and a major nerve center of our national security. Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. Every one of us must practice basic cyber security because an intrusion into one computer can affect an entire network.”

Some DHS tips to stay safe online:

Set strong passwords and don’t share them with anyone.
Keep your operating system, browser, and other critical software optimized by installing updates.
Maintain an open dialogue with your family, friends, and community about Internet safety.
Limit the amount of personal information you post online and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely.
Be cautious about what you receive or read online—if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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