Governor Proclaims October as ‘Cyber Security Awareness Month’

Pennsylvanians urged to protect personal information and tech devices

Harrisburg – Governor Tom Corbett has proclaimed October as “Cyber Security Awareness Month” to remind Pennsylvanians of the importance of protecting their information and devices from online threats.

“Recent high-profile data breaches at retailers and financial institutions are a reminder of how widespread cyber threats have become,” said Gov. Corbett. “While there is no way to completely eliminate the risk, there are steps we can all take to reduce our chances of becoming a victim.”

Information security experts recommend the following:
Use passwords with a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters.

Do not use the same password for multiple accounts.

Update passwords regularly and do not store them on or with your devices.

Keep security software and other programs updated.

Never click on links in emails, tweets, posts or ads from unknown sources. If you are unsure, it is best to delete.

Avoid using public Wi-Fi hot spots whenever possible and do not transmit or receive personal information while using public Wi-Fi.

Educate yourself about popular online scams, such as phishing, and how to avoid them.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is widely considered to be a leader among state goverments in cyber security. This year, the Office of Administration strengthened its information security program further through the adoption of the National Instutite of Standards and Technology Cyber Security Framework and the National Governors Association Call to Action for Cyber Security.

The Office of Administration was also recognized a finalist in the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) State IT Recognition Awards for cyber security in 2013 and 2014. State employees and contractors also undergo annual security awareness training.

“We have a signficant responsibility to protect the information of the citizens and businesses we serve,” said Tony Encinias, the state’s chief information officer. “We are constantly evaluating and updating our security practices and working with the public and private sectors to stay ahead of new and emerging threats.”


Editor’s Note: Text of governor’s proclamation follows.


WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania recognizes that it has a vital role in identifying, protecting, and responding to cyber threats that may have significant impact to our individual and collective security and privacy;

WHEREAS, financial services, telecommunications, transportation, utilities, health care, and emergency response systems are increasingly reliant on technology; and

WHEREAS, citizens, schools, government agencies and businesses rely on the Internet to conduct business, engage in commerce, access information and communicate with friends and family, and;

WHEREAS, our everyday lives, the security of our nation and our economic future are dependent upon a safe and reliable cyber network; and

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth is encouraging all citizens, and all levels of government, to take action against cyber attacks in our homes, workplaces, schools and businesses; and

WHEREAS, all Pennsylvanians can safeguard themselves against cyber hazards by utilizing security practices and implementing security preparedness measures such as the installation of antivirus and malware software programs; and

WHEREAS, federal and state agencies, as well as the private sector, are working together to deter, prevent and respond to all types of virtual threats to our personal and financial information; and

WHEREAS, these activities, along with organizations like the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, National Association of State Chief Information Officers, National Cyber Security Alliance, Pennsylvania’s Office of Administration, Office for Information Technology, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, the STOP.THINK.CONNECT National Campaign and others, contribute to a level of community responsibility and cyber preparedness that is critical to securing our Commonwealth and our nation; and

WHEREAS, as we observe “National Cybersecurity Awareness Month,” I urge all citizens to participate in preparedness practices and to review the Commonwealth’s Cybersecurity website at for more information.

THEREFORE, I, Tom Corbett, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, do hereby proclaim the month of October 2014 as NATIONAL CYBER SECURITY AWARENESS MONTH IN PENNSYLVANIA.

I call upon all citizens of the Commonwealth to recognize the importance of taking the appropriate measures to secure our cyber environment so that all citizens can take advantage of the digital information that is available to us to help expand our knowledge and continue to make technological advances in the future.