This month marks 15 years of observing National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NSCAM) in October.

The program was started way back in 2004, by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance to educate Americans about ways to stay safer and more secure online.

Technology has transformed most aspects of daily life since 2004, when:

  • Smartphones didn’t exist (Blackberry’s don’t count).
  • was born in a Cambridge dorm room.
  • Google launched a new product called “gmail” – and went public.
  • “Blog” was Merriam-Webster’s word of the year.
  • Twitter, YouTube et al. did not exist.
  • Netflix was a mail-order, DVD-rental business.
  • California was the only state that had enacted a data breach notification law.

NCSAM 2018 arrives at a very different — and dangerous — time in cyberspace. Built around the theme of “Our Shared Responsibility,” the NCSAM program focuses on a different aspect of cybersecurity each week. This year’s weekly topics are:

Week 1: Oct. 1­–5: Make Your Home a Haven for Online Safety – Learn how to keep your family, friends and home safer and more secure against the exploding range of cyber threats.

Week 2: Oct. 8–12: Millions of Rewarding Jobs: Educating for a Career in Cybersecurity – Learn about the amazing and plentiful professional opportunities available in the cybersecurity industry for everyone from high schoolers to career retoolers.

Week 3: Oct. 15–19: It’s Everyone’s Job to Ensure Online Safety at Work – Learn about the shared responsibility for cybersecurity in the workplace and discover great resources for workforce education, training and cyber awareness.

Week 4: Oct. 22–26: Safeguarding the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure – Learn about the public’s role in cybersecurity in our critical infrastructure industries.  

Check out the terrific – and free! – resources made available online by the National Cyber Security Alliance, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI. Download the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. ™ Toolkit, which is full of helpful cybersecurity tips for every person – at home, work or on the road. There is something here for every person and organization (and a ton of helpful stuff for small and medium-sized organizations).

If you are really motivated, consider joining the The Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign — 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.