Interview with National Cyber Security Alliance

Q. Cyber security is an important national issue; President Obama recently announced he would appoint a “Cyber Security Czar.” Why is cyber security important to all consumers of Internet services?

A. Cyber security is about securing the entire internet infrastructure. All consumers have stake in keeping the Internet safe and secure. Even if they don’t use the Internet very much themselves, it is likely that the business they use, the government that supports them and others use the Internet to help to run their operations more efficiently and store important data. Efforts to secure cyber space ultimately protect all of us.

Q. What is the distinction between online safety and cyber security?

A. Online safety focuses mostly on what people can do to keep themselves and their families safe online. Cyber security takes a broader view and encourages people to better understand the connection between staying safe online and also taking some responsibility for protecting the networks they use. Our networks are only as safe as the weakest link. This requires us all to do all we can to protect each other.

Q. What is NCSA doing to help inform consumers about staying safe and secure on the Internet?


NCSA’s public presence is, our website where people can learn about staying safe and secure online. On our site consumers can find top tips and ways to secure their system, information about keeping their children and grandchildren safe and secure, and information about NCSA’s efforts to work with home users, educators, and business.

Q. What is the best way to address cyber security and online safety issues?

A. Get educated and informed and learn at least the basics of securing your system. Every computer should have an updated security suite of software running (they can be set to update automatically) and an up-to-date web browser and operating system. In addition, users can protect themselves by having long multi-word passwords (using upper case letters and numerals and symbols makes you even more safe) and changing them regularly, and making electronic copies of important files (also known as a back-up).

For more information, please visit the National Cyber Security Alliance website at

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