Online safety top of mind during 20th annual Cybersecurity Awareness month

Cyber security concept. Man using application on laptop, closeup (iStock - Liudmila Chernetska)

From online credit card fraud to corporate information breaches, cybercrime costs individuals and organizations billions of dollars each year, making cybersecurity a necessity in a very connected world.

“In 2022 alone, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received nearly 850,000 complaints with losses totaling more than $10.3 billion,” said Diana Morian, director of Information Technology for the Cooperative Extension Service. “Other sources project losses through 2028 to be in the trillions of dollars.”

Arkansas ranked No. 41 on the FBI’s list with $15.3 million in losses to cybercrime.

“Cybersecurity is something we cannot take for granted. Security of our online assets is important to maintain the integrity of our educational outreach,” she said. “That’s why we are among the organizations committed to emphasizing cybersecurity education during the 20th annual Cybersecurity Awareness Month.”

Founded in 2004, Cybersecurity Awareness Month, held each October, is an initiative aimed at promoting cybersecurity awareness and best practices. Cybersecurity Awareness Month is a collaborative effort among businesses, government agencies, colleges and universities, associations, nonprofit organizations, tribal communities, and individuals committed to educating others on online safety.

The theme of Cybersecurity Awareness Month is “Secure Our World,” with messaging on four key cybersecurity best practices:

  1. Understand the benefits of using a password manager and dispel existing myths around password manager security and ease of use.
  2. Turning on multi-factor authentication on personal devices and business networks.
  3. Recognize and report phishing—still one of the primary threat actions used by cybercriminals today.
  4. Install updates on a regular basis and turning on automated updates.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month has the goal of providing everyone with the information they need to stay safer and more secure online. The online safety awareness and education initiative is co-managed by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the National Cybersecurity Alliance.

For more information about Cybersecurity Awareness Month 2023 and how to participate in a wide variety of activities, visit and You can also follow and use the hashtag #CybersecurityAwarenessMonth and #SecureOurWorld on social media throughout the month.