October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October 9, 2014 
IEMA joins nationwide effort to keep people safe online 

SPRINGFIELD – Thanks to smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, the Internet is almost always at our fingertips.  Combined with computers and laptops in homes, schools and workplaces, it’s easy to see how Americans reportedly spend an average of 23 hours per week online. While the Internet provides almost limitless opportunities, it also creates risks that can range from mere inconveniences to serious threats such as identity theft, harassment and child endangerment.  

Throughout October, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is joining with local emergency management agencies to promote National Cyber Security Awareness Month, a nationwide effort to increase awareness of online risks and what people can do to prevent problems. 

“The Internet is part of our everyday life,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken.  “Mobile devices make it easier than ever to shop, search for information, communicate with friends and family and more.  It’s critical that everyone who uses the Internet understands the potential risks and takes steps to protect their personal information.”       

Monken said basic tips for staying safe on the Internet include:

  • Set strong passwords and don’t share them with anyone.
  • Keep your operating system, browser and other critical software optimized by installing updates.
  • Maintain an open dialogue with your family, friends and community about Internet safety.
  • Limit the amount of personal information you post online and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely.
  • Be cautious about what you receive or read online.  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
For more online safety tips, visit the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov​.  In addition to cyber safety information, the website is a one-stop location for information about disaster preparedness, what to do during a disaster and steps for recovery after a disaster.