As published in the July/August edition of InfoSecurity Professional Magazine
By Pat Craven, Director of the Center for Cyber Safety and Education
As cybersecurity and cyber safety continue to become a growing global conversation, there are an increasing number of themed days and events to help promote the industry and highlight the need to educate people on how to be safe online. One of the biggest promotions of the year is Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October.
October is a busy time of year for your Center for Cyber Safety and Education. We plan all year for Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and I wanted to share with you some ideas for ways that you individually, your (ISC)² chapter, or your company can help us achieve our collective mission of building a safer cyber world.
Is your town ready for a Garfield-sized event in October? If so, now is the time to start planning. For us, one of the biggest things we will celebrate is a Cyber Safety Day. Our main effort this year will be in Orlando on Wednesday, October 30, during (ISC)² Security Congress, but there will also be other cities that we hope to expand to as well.
Last year, we piloted the effort in New Orleans and reached more than 2,300 children in 17 schools. This year, our goal is to reach some 10,000 children with the Garfield’s Cyber Safety Adventures program in one day! To pull off these types of events takes a coordinated effort and requires a team of people and financial support from local businesses. If your chapter or company is interested in taking on such a project in your town, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for help and guidance.
But you do have more options available to help your community, aside from our Garfield program. You can have the same kind of impact coordinating free presentations for parents, families and seniors at local schools, libraries or community centers. The idea is to decide upon a date and a common goal. Something that will rally people in your group, company and the community. These types of events can often be of interest to the local media, so don’t hesitate to invite them to see how your group is working to help families be safe and secure online.
All the resources you need are available for free and downloadable in multiple languages at www.IAmCyberSafe.org. October is also a great month to promote cyber safety and security through blogs, social media and local media (newspaper, radio and TV). Reach out to bloggers and podcasters to find out if they are looking for a cyber expert on this very hot topic. Keep in mind that most podcasts and stories are recorded well in advance of their release, so don’t wait too long to contact them, or you may miss out. If you’re not comfortable doing interviews, then simply retweet or post on your favorite platform.
We have a variety of safety messages going out all year long, so make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Don’t forget to opt-in to receive information from the Center in your membership profile. Your Center for Cyber Safety and Education is always looking for ways to partner with professionals and companies to make it a safer cyber world for everyone. Please don’t hesitate to ask for help or ideas on what you can do to give back and help others be safe and secure online.