National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM)

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). As a partner in the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign, your organization’s efforts to promote online safety to your employees, members, and stakeholders throughout October is essential to helping create a safer and more secure Internet.

NCSAM is an opportunity to engage your employees and stakeholders to promote the online safety message. This Content Guide provides sample content for your organization to customize for your stakeholder communications. Whether you’re posting NCSAM information on your website or Intranet site, emailing your employee or stakeholders, or giving a speech, DHS hopes the material in this packet provides a good starting point to developing your communications.

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About National Cyber Security Awareness Month

National Cyber Security Awareness Month is an opportunity to engage the public in creating a safe, secure, and resilient cyber environment.

For the past twelve years, National Cyber Security Awareness Month has helped to equip Americans with the tools they need to stay safe online.

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Importance of Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is one of our country’s top national security priorities.

The world is more interconnected today than ever before; with more connectivity comes more responsibility by each and every one of us.

Traditional crimes are now perpetrated through cyber networks including child pornography and exploitation, identity and intellectual property theft, network intrusions, and a range of financial crimes from fraud to embezzlement.

Emerging online threats require vigilance from every person.

Every American has a role to play in cybersecurity.

Together we can meet the cybersecurity challenges of the future. We’ve made great strides in technology and cybersecurity, but there is still more to do to protect our cyberspace.

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About the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign

The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign, the Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign, is a national public awareness campaign aimed at increasing the understanding of cyber threats and empowering the American public to be safer and more secure online.

The Campaign relies on its expanding partnerships with state and local governments, non-profit organizations, and colleges and universities to promote cyber awareness and safety across the Nation.

As a Campaign partner, we at Geauga County are committed to spreading the online safety message, helping people protect themselves against online threats, and enabling them to lead safer digital lives.

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Cyber Security Tips

Set strong passwords. Make them long and complex, change them regularly, and don’t share them with anyone.

Secure your most sensitive accounts. When it is available, use multi-factor authentication to keep your accounts more secure.

Keep a Clean Machine. Keep your operating system, browser, and other critical software optimized by installing updates regularly.

Maintain an open dialogue. Talk with your family, friends, and community about Internet safety.

Limit what you share. Consider what personal information you share online, and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely.

Don’t believe everything you read. Be cautious about what you receive or read online—if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

Read More
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ADP/DoIT Security and Research Page

The Geauga County Department of Information Technology Security and Research Team is dedicated to providing technology, policies, standards, information, research and solutions to ensure the privacy and information security for any and all Geauga County agencies. Located on the 3rd Floor of the Opera House, the Security and Research Team, which resides within the Department of Information Technology is lead by the Security and Research Manager directly under the Chief Information Officer (CIO). The Security and research team operates closely with other teams to protect the County Network and Infrastructure such as Network Engineering, Wide Area Network, Telecommunications, Public Safety & Justice Services, Northeast Ohio Regional Fusion Center, and more.

The team has a very close affiliation with various government entities and organizations including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Cleveland Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Center of Internet Security and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (CIS/MS-ISAC), and InfraGard.

The Security and Research team is also planning to expand through Regional Collaboration to aid municipalities to strengthen their Cyber Security programs and/or knowledge and awareness of the Cyber threats of today.

Week 5 - Keeping Our Critical Infrastructure Cyber Secure

Every day people take showers, watch television, drive cars, talk on cell phones, and use computers. None of this would be possible without the utility infrastructure that brings us the water, electricity, gasoline, and telecommunications we use into our homes and communities. Industrial control systems are what monitor and run the essential utilities we rely on every day. Much of the United States’ critical infrastructure, which includes energy, chemical, water, and transportation, depends heavily on cyber systems to function properly and efficiently.

Everyone can play an important role in critical infrastructure cybersecurity by encouraging their utility companies to adhere to high cybersecurity standards. On an individual basis, people can:

  • Read the privacy policy of a company or vendor before purchasing a product or service.
  • Make sure websites that ask for personal information (to pay a utility bill, for example) use encryption to secure their sites.
  • Learn about steps to enhance security and resilience in local businesses and communities, and how to handle certain events.
  • If you run a business, make a plan to protect your organization’s information from cyber threats.
  • Report suspicious activity.

By working together, we can do our part to help ensure that our homes and businesses will have power, our transportation systems will get us where we need to go, and our communication systems will help us connect at work and at home.


October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. As a partner in the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign, Geauga County, is committed to promoting the online safety message. Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. Learn more about day-to-day best practices and what you can do to be more cyber secure at www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect.

To receive cyber security tips year round, visit www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect and become a Friend of the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign.

Week 4 - Securing Every Part of Our Digital Lives

Is there anything we can’t accomplish through our smart phones? From online shopping and banking to adjusting the thermometer; from tracking ours steps to tracking the contents of our refrigerators, and everything in between. Through our phones we can turn on our ovens, our lights, our cars. These features come at the touch of a “button,” and provide people with a level of convenience and ease never seen before.

Use of connected devices is growing:

  • 1.8 billion: the number of smartphone users*
  • 50 billion: the number of connected devices expected by 2020 (that’s 1 person to every 7 devices)*
  • $5 trillion: the amount the connected device market is expected to grow over the next 6 years*

As more devices and objects become connected to the Internet – from phones and tablets to homes, vehicles, and medical devices – it is important to realize that the security of these devices is not always guaranteed. Here are steps you can take to protect yourself when using your connected devices:

  1. Set strong passwords. Setting strong passwords that are long, unique and hard to guess is one of the most important things you can do to protect your online accounts. Changing passwords regularly, and using different passwords for different accounts, goes a long way to protecting your online information.
  2. Secure your accounts. Ask for protection beyond passwords. Many account providers now offer additional ways for you verify who you are before you conduct business on that site, such as two-factor authentication.
  3. Secure your device. In order to prevent theft and unauthorized access, use a passcode to lock your device, lock it when it is not in use, and never leave it unattended in a public place.
  4. Disable remote connectivity. Some mobile devices are equipped with wireless technologies, such as Bluetooth, that can connect to other devices. Disable these features when they are not in use.
  5. When in doubt, throw it out. Links in email, tweets, posts, and online advertising are often the way cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete or, if appropriate, mark it as ‘junk email’ so you no longer receive emails from this sender.

It’s also important to look toward the future. As new “smart” devices and Internet-connected technology are introduced, it is easy to get caught up in the novelty and overlook security. Before you adopt new devices, do the following:

  • Read the privacy and security policies of these devices.
  • Understand what kind of information is being shared, and what options you have to limit this sharing.
  • Make sure your home Internet networks – where most of your devices will connect from – is secure.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. As a partner in the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign, Geauga County, is committed to promoting the online safety message. Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. Learn more about day-to-day best practices and what you can do to be more cyber secure at www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect.

To receive cyber security tips year round, visit www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect and become a Friend of the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign.

* National Cyber Security Alliance “Internet of Things Infographic” staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/resources/internet-of-things-infographic

Week 3 - Protecting Yourself from Cyber Threats

While online threats are constantly evolving, many cyber criminals use variations of the same methods with cyber attacks. Specifics of these attacks may differ, but the nature of the attacks stay the same. Cyber criminals take advantage of a user’s lack of technical expertise and inherent trusting natures. By understanding these common threats and risks, we can all take steps to protect ourselves online.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) and Geauga County is joining with the Department of Homeland Security and its partners across the country to highlight the importance of cybersecurity and online safety.

The Department of Homeland Security’s United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) shares information on the common threats and tips to avoid them. Below are two of the most common types of cyber threats:

Malware is a general term to describe malicious code or software, and includes viruses, worms, trojan horses, ransomware, and spyware to name a few. Malware can disrupt your computer’s operations and destroy files or run quietly in the background, tracking what you type or what sites you visit, and sending this information from your computer to cyber criminals. In the case of ransomware, the malicious code locks your computer or encrypts certain files on your computer and threatens to delete files or keep your computer locked until you pay a monetary fine. Even after paying this “ransom,” it is not guaranteed that your files will be freed from its captors.

What you can do to protect yourself:

  • Think before you click. Malware can spread to your computer through malicious links and attachments. Only click links or open attachments from legitimate, reputable sources. When in doubt, delete or ignore the message.
  • Keep your anti-virus software updated. New viruses are continually being written and deployed. Updating your anti-virus software helps you fight against the latest malware.
  • Back up your files. If you are a victim of malware, such as a virus or ransomware, you may risk losing files and data on your computer. Regularly back up your computer to the cloud or an external hard drive to protect your work, your photos, and your documents.

Phishing: Phishing is an attempt by an individual or group to solicit personal information from unsuspecting users by employing social engineering techniques, or tricking them into thinking that the activity is legitimate or necessary. Phishing emails are crafted to appear as if they have been sent from a legitimate organization or from someone the person actually knows. These emails often entice users to click on a link that takes the user to a fraudulent (or “spoofed”) website that appears to be legitimate. The user may be asked to provide personal information, such as account usernames and passwords.

Additionally, these fraudulent websites may contain malicious code. Attackers sometimes take advantage of major events – such as a natural disaster, sporting event, etc. – and pretend to be legitimate charities or retailers to entice users.

What you can do to protect yourself:

  • Be wary of unsolicited emails asking for personal information. Do not provide personal information or internal company information unless you have verified that the sender is legitimate. Keep your anti-virus software updated.
  • Be wary of unsolicited emails asking for personal information. Do not provide personal information or internal company information unless you have verified that the sender is legitimate.
  • Report suspicious emails. Either forward the email to your company’s IT department, or report it to US-CERT by emailing phishing-report@us-cert.gov.

For more information on cyber threats and risks, and how to protect yourself, visit www.us-cert.gov/ncas/tips.


October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. As a partner in the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign, Geauga County, is committed to promoting the online safety message. Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. Learn more about day-to-day best practices and what you can do to be more cyber secure at www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect.

To receive cyber security tips year round, visit www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect and become a Friend of the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign.

Week 2 - At Geauga County, Cybersecurity is a Responsibility Shared by All

In our professional and personal lives, we depend on the Internet and its vast system of networks to perform many daily tasks. As technology advances, so do the techniques that cyber criminals use to gain access to our computer networks and the valuable data it holds.

You don’t have to be an IT professional to have a role in cybersecurity. Many of our jobs touch upon cyber, and everyone has a responsibility to ensure we are all doing what we can to keep this organization’s information and systems secure.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and a good time to reflect on what we can do every day – at work and at home – to keep ourselves, our families, and our organizations safe. Below are simple steps you can take to be more cyber secure:

  • Set strong passwords and change them regularly.
  • Keep your usernames, passwords, or other computer/ website access codes private.
  • Only open emails and attachments from people you know.
  • Do NOT install or connect any personal software or hardware to your organization’s network without permission from the IT department.
  • Make electronic and physical back-ups or copies of all your important work. Do the same for your personal files on your home computer.
  • When you work from home, secure your Internet connection by using a firewall, encrypt information, and hide your Wi- Fi network.

Geauga County is committed to the cybersecurity of our organization and our employees.


October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. As a partner in the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign, Geauga County, is committed to promoting the online safety message. Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. Learn more about day-to-day best practices and what you can do to be more cyber secure at www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect.

To receive cyber security tips year round, visit www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect and become a Friend of the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign.

Week 1 - Take these Simple Steps Today to be More Cyber Secure Tomorrow

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) and Geauga County is joining with the Department of Homeland Security’s Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign and its partners across the country to highlight the importance of cybersecurity and online safety.

Every day you do simple things to protect yourself. You protect your house when you lock your doors. You protect your children when you hold their hands to cross the street. You protect your health when you brush your teeth. These are simple but impactful activities you do every day, probably without a second thought. You don’t have to be an IT professional to understand the basics of cybersecurity. At Geauga County, we believe cybersecurity is a shared responsibility – everyone has a role to play. Geauga County encourages everyone to take 15 minutes out of their day to complete the following three cybersecurity steps:

  • Change Your Password: Choose your three most sensitive accounts – accounts that you would not want ANYONE to access, like your bank account or email – and change your passwords. Make your passwords long, with a mixture letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Update Your Software and Operating Systems: Don’t let cyber criminals take advantage of known vulnerabilities in your devices. Updating your programs and computers with the latest software helps
  • Secure Your Social Media: Review the sharing or privacy options on all of your social media platforms and ensure they are set to the strictest level. Only share your profile and what you post with people you know in real life.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. As a partner in the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign, Geauga County, is committed to promoting the online safety message. Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. Learn more about day-to-day best practices and what you can do to be more cyber secure at www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect.

To receive cyber security tips year round, visit www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect and become a Friend of the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign.

US-CERT Current Activity

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