If you've been following OFFGRIDweb or our social media pages, you'll no doubt know that September was National Preparedness Month. This year's campaign emphasized the importance of being “prepared, not scared” and the value of creating disaster plans within your family and local community. Although this topic is one that deserves year-round attention, September is now behind us, and the arrival of October brings a new topic to discuss — one that's extremely relevant to all preparedness-minded individuals. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has designated October as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM).

The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies (NICCS), a department of DHS, is spearheading the spread of this awareness campaign. The goal of NCSAM 2019 is to “emphasize personal accountability and stress the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity at home and in the workplace.” Much like National Preparedness Month, NCSAM has been broken down into a few easily-digestible points — Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT. As you may have guessed, “IT” is used in reference to all forms of information technology.

Above, you can see an outline of the sub-topics under each point. NICCS offers an extensive PDF guide with more details on each sub-topic on its National Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2019 landing page. Below, there's a flyer with a few quick tips that should be doable for users of any technical skill level.

As we've frequently reiterated, cybersecurity is critical for everyone. You don't have to be a tech expert to understand the life-altering consequences of having your bank account hacked, all your computer's files erased by ransomware, or your cell phone conversations monitored by criminals. We encourage you to use National Cybersecurity Awareness Month as an opportunity to check your own security measures and spread the word to your family.

For some more cybersecurity tips, refer to our previous articles on securing your home WiFi network and Google's phishing identification quiz.

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