Public officials, business leaders and cybersecurity experts gather to educate public about ways to better secure their digital lives
May 28, 2014

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), a non-profit public-private partnership focused on helping all digital citizens stay safer and more secure online, is coming to Omaha with its STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Two Steps Ahead: Protect Your Digital Life tour to educate consumers and businesses about adding layers of security to their everyday online activities.

The event being held on June 4 at Strategic Air & Space Museum, 28210 West Park Highway in Ashland, is part of a 10-city tour to spread the word about activating security features available on many of the web’s most popular sites. Congressman Lee Terry will open the event with remarks and the morning will feature a panel of local cybersecurity experts and a hands-on demonstration showing attendees how to step up their security on sites like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, LinkedIn and financial institutions.

Recent publicized data breaches in the retail and other sectors and the Heartbleed open SSL vulnerability have shed the light once again on account security when passwords and other account credentials are lost. 

Lack of consumer adoption of good password practices continues to create problems as well, as evidenced by the fact that “123456” and “password” have long been the top passwords in use. A Pew Research Center study indicated that last year 21% of Internet users (18 years and older) have had an online account compromised, such as a social networking account or an email account, and only 23% think their accounts are very secure.

“It's critically important for people and businesses to understand the way to protect their personal information on the Internet. Being proactive and taking advantage of the tools currently available is key to maintaining the security of personal and financial data. I want to thank the NSCA for coming to the metro area and raising awareness about how our community can better protect their personal information online," said Congressman Terry, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade.

There are more and more Internet sites implementing additional security features that can help computer users add another layer of security to their accounts. These features go by many names – such as two-step verification, login approvals, and multi-factor authentication – and use a variety of methods, including SMS texts to a mobile device, or random one-time use password generators.   

Consumers still need to be vigilant about using strong passwords, because they are not going away anytime soon.  Users should follow the basic security advice to have long, strong and unique passwords. 

“Making use of available security precautions like the emerging account security tools, where available, should be a starting point for staying safe online,” said Michael Kaiser executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance. “ Utilizing all available security measures and understanding the consequences of actions and behaviors online is the key message underlying the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign.” 

“Stopping Internet fraud and implementing safety standards begins with the user,” said C. Steven Baker, regional director for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). “From implementing strong passwords to new security procedures, Internet users have the tools to protect themselves, and this forum helps explain the tools, as well as why this is necessary.”

The event will include remarks and a panel presentation from C. Steven Baker, Director Midwest Region, Federal Trade Commission; Jim Hegarty, President/CEO, Better Business Bureau, Inc., Chris Hobbs, State Information Security Officer for the state of Nebraska; Justin L. Kolenbrander, FBI Cyber Task Force; the Hon. Chris Rodgers, Commissioner, Douglas Count; and Dr. Michael McGinnis, Executive Director, Strategic Air & Space Museum. The event will run from 8:30-10:30 a.m. and registration is open to the public and free but limited.

“We want to thank all our partners who helped make the event in Nebraska a success,” Kaiser said. 

To register visit: http://www.stopthinkconnect.org/2stepsahead/events.

To learn more about staying safe online and to find links to websites that offer additional account security visit www.stopthinkconnect.org.

About The National Cyber Security Alliance and STOP. THINK. CONNECT.

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), is the nation’s leading nonprofit
cybersecurity education and awareness organization. In collaboration with the government, corporate, non-profit and other sectors, NCSA’s mission is to educate and empower everyone to use the Internet safely and more securely. NCSA board members include: ADP, AT&T, Bank of America, Comcast, EMC Corporation, ESET, Facebook, Google, Intel, McAfee, Microsoft, Symantec, Verizon and Visa. The STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign was created by an unprecedented coalition of private companies, nonprofits and government organizations with leadership provided by the NCSA and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG).  NCSA’s other signature programs are National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and Data Privacy Day. The Department of Homeland Security leads the federal engagement in the campaign. Visit www.stopthinkconnect.org for more information and join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/staysafeonline