We have just completed our first full week of Cyber Security Awareness Month 2010. Together with Deputy Secretary Jane Lute from the Department of Homeland Security as well as friends and colleagues from the private sector, state and local government, we officially launched the month on Monday, October 4th. The level of engagement both in Seattle and in the National Capital Region was unprecedented and underscored our shared responsibility and the significance of the public private partnership in enhancing our national cybersecurity efforts.
It was my pleasure to announce the launch of a new national public awareness and education campaign to promote cybersecurity. This campaign will enhance our efforts during October and beyond to educate, engage and empower the American public to take charge of their safety and security online. It will challenge the American public to be more vigilant about establishing smart habits that will lead to increased protection online. As part of the campaign, the Department of Homeland Security will host cyber forums in collaboration with the National Centers of Academic Excellence to bring together diverse groups of community, private and government participants for dialogues on cybersecurity issues and will provide opportunities for members of the public to get involved and help spread the word by leading or hosting campaign activities.
Also on Monday, I unveiled the Stop. Think. Connect. message as part of the campaign. Stop. Think. Connect. is really a universal call to action about cybersecurity awareness. With the unified message, the goal is to help all digital citizens employ universal behaviors to protect themselves, no matter what they are doing online or how they are connecting to the Internet. We hope this will lead to a culture of cyber awareness in which online safety steps become second nature in our daily lives.
I encourage everyone to think about how they can engage in the campaign and how they can promote Stop. Think. Connect.
Howard A. Schmidt is the Cybersecurity Coordinator and Special Assistant to the President