Governor Cooper proclaims October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month

North Carolina
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(AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. – Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month in North Carolina, kicking off a month-long campaign by the N.C. Department of Information Technology to educate people about online threats.

“The pandemic is shining a bright light on how the internet helps us learn, work and get access to health care,” Governor Cooper said. “But the more we use it, the more cybercriminals find ways to disrupt our lives, so we must all take a role in security.”

With the theme of “Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart,” Cybersecurity Awareness Month aims to shed light on these security vulnerabilities while offering advice that anyone can take to protect themselves and their personal information.

“Cybersecurity isn’t only a shared responsibility, it’s an individual responsibility when it comes to securing our interconnected world,” said State Chief Information Officer and NCDIT Secretary James Weaver, who oversees the efforts to protect the state’s computer networks and data. “No one is immune from cybercrime, but education, awareness and being mindful while online are the best ways to help avoid becoming a victim.”

On Oct. 6-7, NCDIT will host the virtual N.C. Cybersecurity Awareness Symposium for employees in state and local government as well as academic institutions to learn about the latest threats and trends in cybersecurity. Sessions include presenters from the N.C. National Guard, N.C. Emergency Management, U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, North Carolina Military Business Center and the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

NCDIT will also provide tips and best practices on social media (#BeCyberSmart and #CyberSecureNC) to help educate people on how to protect data from cyberattacks. Tips include:

  • Be suspicious of unsolicited messages, especially those with urgent requests, offers too good to be true or consequences for not acting on them right away.
  • Don’t hesitate to follow up with a sender by phone or in person if a message seems out of the ordinary or is a request for money or sensitive information.
  • Avoid clicking links or opening attachments in suspicious messages. If there’s any doubt, check with the sender first.
  • Check website URLs to make sure they are legitimate. Malicious websites can look identical to trusted sites, but the URL might use a different spelling or domain (e.g., .com vs. .net).

Additional tips and information can also be found at it.nc.gov/CyberSecureNC.

Read the proclamation.

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