Sunday, October 03, 2010

Online Safety Calendar for Cyber Security Awareness Month

This year marks the seventh annual National Cyber Security Awareness (NCSA) month.  Officially, the National Cyber Security Awareness Month launch will take place tomorrow, October 4, 2010, in Seattle, Washington at the Seattle Public Library.

NCSA provides an opportunity for teachers, businesses, government entities, libraries, as well as bloggers like me to provide tips to help you stay safe and secure online.

With acknowledgment to a tip by fellow Microsoft MVP, Richard Hay, at his website,, I am going to tell you about the Online Safety Calendar, a great new add-on available for Internet Explorer.  The add-on is an ideal tool to enhance your cyber security awareness.

Although it is not yet available for Internet Explorer 9 (Beta) or alternate browsers, with the installed Online Safety Calendar add-on, Internet safety tips such as "How to protect yourself from identity theft", "Online shopping safety tips", and more are available at your fingertips.  Of particular interest is the wealth of information available to parents for teaching children how they can stay safe online.

Installation of the add-on is easy.  Simply go to the download link provided below and save the file.  When you run the installer, you will need to agree to the Terms and Conditions of Service.  If you are running Windows Vista or Windows 7, accept the UAC elevation prompt for the installation.  (Note:  The calendar is not currently compatible with IE 9 Beta.)

Restart Internet Explorer when instructed during installation and at the beginning of each month, you will receive a calendar reminder to help you take action on important online safety issues.

It is not necessary to wait for the monthly reminder to get safety tips.  You can also access the calendar whenever you want. Simply launch Internet Explorer, click Tools, and then click Online Safety Calendar.  Alternatively, click on the Online Safety Calendar icon from the Internet Explorer Command Bar.

Below is a partial screen copy of the calendar information for National Cyber Security Awareness Month:

The Online Safety Calendar was sponsored by Microsoft and developed by  Before starting I Look Both Ways, president and founder Linda Criddle was a 13-year employee of Microsoft where she was a pioneer in online safety for the MSN division. 

While I still have your attention, I want to encourage everyone, but particularly parents, to check the helpful information available at iLookBothWays.  Under the "Learn Safety" tab are links to articles with advice on how to steer clear of Internet hazards including topics on sending e-mail, dating online, or protecting your children.  There are brochures that can be downloaded and educational videos on topics such as "Talking to Kids About Online Safety" and "Protecting Kids on Social Networks".

Remember - "A day without laughter is a day wasted."
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cyber security has indeed become a hot topic. With hackers finding new ways to steal personal information, the latest one being LinkedIn Spam attack, creating awareness on cyber security issues among the general public has become a necessity. The Online Safety Calendar, which provides valuable tips for safe online shopping and prevention of identity theft, can encourage information security practices and promote secured use of Internet.