This month we celebrate National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), an initiative designed to educate people that all of us have a role in protecting our digital lives. Cybersecurity is our business at Avast, but we realize that the internet is a shared resource and securing it is Our Shared Responsibility, which is the theme for October 2012′s NCSAM.
Avast Software is proud to be a champion along with other organizations, companies, and government agencies that support National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
Avast! users, you are among the most tech savvy and conscientious of internet users. Please join with us wherever you are – at school, at work, in the community – to educate young people, train employees, and help raise community awareness for a safer digital society. We’ll post tips and interesting facts that we hope you will share along with a recommendation for avast! Antivirus protection.
You can follow simple steps to keep yourselves, your personal assets, and private information safe online. Here are a few tips all Internet users can do to practice cybersecurity during NCSAM and throughout the year:
- 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
Last year, the Egyptian government shut down the Internet for 5 days during the anti-government protests. Last week, some websites on the Internet voluntarily blacked out to protest SOPA. What would happen if the whole Internet went black? Scientists thought it could happen this week.
The massive solar storm that bombarded Earth’s magnetic field Tuesday morning caused minor disruptions to spacecraft and power grids, and airline flights were rerouted to avoid downtime in radio communications. Scientists speculated that if the angle of the electromagnetic burst would have been different, we may have experienced a major power failure like one that happened in a 1989 solar storm. Six million people in Quebec lost electricity then, and the effects were felt through many parts of the continental U.S. because of the inter-connectivity of the power grids. This storm was much stronger.
What would it be like if we lost the Internet for an extended amount of time? For many businesses it would be catastrophic. But on a personal level, it would be freeing. Certainly, communication would be different. If I want my friends to know my status, I actually have to talk to them. Commerce would look differently too. If I needed to buy something, I would have to visit the bank to withdraw money and then go to the store to make my purchase. Knowledge would still be at my fingertips, but I would have to look in a book to find it. And if I wanted to watch the humorous antics of a funny kitty, I would have to go over to my mom’s house to see Jasmine the cat push her catnip toy across the floor. It actually doesn’t sound like too bad of a day.
What would you miss the most if the Internet disappeared? How would your life change? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.
Last night I spent an inordinate amount of time on reddit looking at pictures of baby hedgehogs, reading a Q&A with a theoretical physicist, and catching up on the intended blackouts protesting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its sister bill, Protect IP Act (PIPA).
Haven’t heard about SOPA? It’s no wonder, since the mainstream media has been curiously silent on the issue. Maybe it’s because most of the big news outlets are owned by companies supporting SOPA. Nonetheless, reddit and others, such as Tucows, Cheezburger, game developer Red 5 Studios, and hacktivist group Anonymous, hope to make the issue broadly known with a coordinated internet blackout scheduled for January 18th. Things will really get interesting if the “nuclear option” is implemented where the likes of Wikipedia, Google, Facebook, Ebay, Yahoo!, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Mozilla, Twitter, and PayPal “go simultaneously dark” to join them in protest of the bill. Read more…