NCSAM 2014: PRIVATE WiFi Champions the Cause of Cybersecurity

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Did you know that free WiFi is likely coming soon to a Coke vending machine near you? WiFi hotspots are ubiquitous – we can hop online easily at our schools, libraries, gyms, and of course at hotels and airports. While convenient, the truth about WiFi is simply frightening: it is not secure and anyone can listen in on your activity and potentially hack you.

So while we may not have WiFi-enabled vending machines in the United States (yet), it is important that we raise awareness about the security threats. Today we do that by celebrating the launch of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), a national public awareness campaign held each October to encourage everyone to protect their computers, tablets, and smartphones.

And because WiFi is everywhere, spreading the word about being aware and conscientious of our online activities has never been more important!

PRIVATE WiFi Champions Cybersecurity

Last year, more than 340 universities, colleges, businesses, government agencies, and associations supported NCSAM. Once again, PRIVATE WiFi is proud to support the great mission and outreach goals of this security initiative and is happy to return as a “champion” for the cause of cybersecurity.

Being a champion is a way for us to officially show our support and commitment, and we’re excited to kick off the month by participating in the first #ChatSTC on Twitter this Thursday, October 2 at 3pm ET. The theme of the chat is STOP.THINK.CONNECT: Online Safety For Everyone. Each week, NCSAM has a different theme that addresses the top security concerns trending this year (find out more about the issues here).

Getting Involved

Week One of NCSAM is about the simple steps everyone can take to raise awareness of online security. Some of the easy ways you can get involved include the following ideas:

  • Post a NCSAM message on social media to announce the start of NCSAM month – include #NCSAM
  • Write a post on your personal blog that mentions NCSAM and an aspect of cybersecurity that matters most to you.
    • Sign up for NCSAM webinars through this training page.
    • Share the 2013 student video and poster contest winners.
    • Share PRIVATE WiFi’s eye-opening infographic about WiFi privacy and identity theft.

Pants On Fire Skit

What are some other ways people are spreading the word about Internet safety? Well, check out this fun musical skit from a theater company that covers the threats of WiFi and a need for a VPN. The singers have a lot of creativity in the way they showcase a literal “song and dance” about personal identity threats in WiFi hotspots.

As the catchy song goes, “In fact, all you send out and all that comes in is vulnerable, exposed, and can be intercepted…by an invasion of hackers if left unprotected!”

This month is all about remembering these threats – in song, in dance, and in our everyday routines. Since our way of life — for the majority of us — depends on being online, we each have a role to play in safely using digital technology, having a high cybersecurity awareness, and encrypting and protecting our sensitive data. Online security is a shared responsibility.

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Elaine Rigoli

Elaine Rigoli is PRIVATE WiFi's manager of digital content strategy.