Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Governor Cooper Proclaims October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month Annual recognition highlights importance of online safety

Oct 3, 2023

Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month in North Carolina to recognize the importance of staying safe online.

“Advances in digital technology make amazing opportunities possible but also open the door to more cyber attacks,” Governor Cooper said. “Cyberthreats are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and I encourage all North Carolinians to make smart decisions to avoid online scams and secure your personal information.”

“Education and awareness remain our best defense against cyberattacks,” said N.C. Department of Information Technology Secretary and State Chief Information Officer Jim Weaver, who oversees efforts to protect the state’s computer networks and data. “The good news is there are quick and easy steps we can all take to help secure our devices and prevent ourselves and others from becoming victims of cybercrime.”

Here are four simple ways you can protect yourself, your family and your workplace from online threats:

  • Recognize and report phishing. Avoid clicking links or opening attachments in suspicious messages. If there’s any doubt, check with the sender first.
  • Use strong passwords and a password manager. All passwords should be long, complex and unique; you should never reuse passwords. Password managers can generate strong passwords and remember them for you.
  • Turn on multifactor authentication. Multifactor authentication requires you to enter more information than just a password, such as a text code or fingerprint.
  • Update software. Make sure your devices are running the latest version of operating systems, software and web browsers. 

The N.C. Department of Information Technology, along with other state, local and federal partners, works to protect North Carolina’s government IT systems, data and assets against cyberthreats.

In addition, NCDIT’s Division of Broadband and Digital Equity is working to ensure that all North Carolinians have access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet, and the devices and skills needed to safely access online resources and navigate today’s digital world. In May, the division announced the state’s first digital navigator grants to help North Carolinians gain online skills.

To support this year’s national Cybersecurity Awareness Month campaign theme, Secure Our World, NCDIT will share cybersecurity tips and best practices on social media using #SecureOurWorld and #CyberSecureNC throughout the month. More information about online safety is posted at it.nc.gov/CyberSecureNC.

Read the proclamation.