National Cyber Security Awareness Month
Every October, Microsoft recognizes National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) in the United States through our partnership with the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA).
NCSAM was created to help increase awareness of online safety and security issues, and to help educate people about the best ways to protect their computers and other electronic devices.
Microsoft also supports NCSAM worldwide to help all of us foster the concept of digital citizenship and promote standards of appropriate behavior as we become an increasingly digital society.
To help kick off the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. (STC) campaign in 2010, Microsoft created a series of STC videos (one of which was honored by the White House and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security). We also spread STC messages via our digital media properties:
This year's theme for NCSAM, "Our Shared Responsibility," emphasizes the role that each of us—individuals, families, schools, organizations, industry, and government—can play in helping to create a safer digital world.
In doing our part, Microsoft encourages individuals and businesses alike to take extra steps to avoid Internet scams and prevent identity theft. On October 15, we released results from our Scam Defense Survey, which aimed to determine:
Scams and online fraud tactics they have encountered.
Preventative measures they took to help safeguard themselves from online fraud.
How protected they feel from online fraud and scams.
Their feelings on the probability of becoming a victim of an online fraud or scam.
To address identity theft and scam prevention, we offer five foundational practices that can help users protect their devices and information online.
Be defensive with sensitive information
Avoid sharing personal data in email, instant messages (IM), or text messages.
Check a webpage for encryption indicators (like "https" in the address and a closed padlock).
Save banking, shopping, and other financial transactions for your home computer.
Create varied and strong passwords or phrases
Boost your computer’s security
Connect with others carefully
Share your primary email address and IM name only with people you know or with reputable organizations. Avoid listing them on your social networking sites, in Internet directories (such as white pages), or on job-posting sites.
Only “friend” people you actually know.
Watch out for scams