The start of October marks the beginning of National Cyber Security Month (NCSAM), according to the National Cyber Security Alliance.

The goal of cyber security month, which was started by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security 14 years ago,  is to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity.

“The Internet touches almost all aspects of everyone’s daily life, whether we realize it or not,” according to a report by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. “NCSAM is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives to raise awareness.”

Learn more about cybersecurity here.

Last year, NCSAM had over 151 million Twitter interactions according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 

In 2016, over 3,000 cyber vulnerabilities, or a weakness in a site that allows a hacker to affect information assurance, occurred. Google alone had near 700 vulnerabilities in 2016 according to Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE).

In an effort to increase cybersecurity on campus, Ball State will be participating in this year’s themed weeks through online games and social media that will strengthen skills in detecting phishing scams. The NCSAM weekly themes are: 

Week 1: Oct. 2-6 – Theme: Simple Steps to Online Safety

Week 2: Oct. 9-13 – Theme: Cybersecurity in the Workplace is Everyone’s Business

Week 3: Oct. 16-20 – Theme: Today’s Predictions for Tomorrow’s Internet

Week 4: Oct. 23-27 – Theme: The Internet Wants YOU: Consider a Career in Cybersecurity

Week 5: Oct. 30-31 – Theme: Protecting Critical Infrastructure from Cyber Threats

In addition to the themed weeks, Ball State will be holding events in some of the residence halls to teach students how to keep technology secure. 

Contact Liz Rieth with any comments at ejrieth@bsu.edu or on Twitter at @liz_rieth.