Cyber Security Alliance warns of cyber stalking

WASHINGTON: The National Cyber Security Alliance is working to raise awareness about cyber stalking by releasing survey data it compiled with IT security firm McAfee.

WASHINGTON: The National Cyber Security Alliance is working to raise awareness about cyber stalking by releasing survey data it compiled with IT security firm McAfee.

The two organizations found that 20% of Americans have been affected by cyber stalking, which includes persistent emails and other unwanted contact. The report also found that more than half of Americans (52%) say their local police departments are not equipped to handle such an issue.

“Cyber stalking is something we need to continue to teach people about,” said Aimee Larsen Kirkpatrick, senior director of partnership engagement and strategic initiatives at the security alliance. “Young people need to be especially vigilant about it, as once they begin dating they tend to put a lot of information on social media. They need to know how that information may be used in order to protect themselves.”

To that end, the alliance is also encouraging people to take concrete actions like creating stronger passwords, removing certain information from profiles, and locking down privacy settings, in addition to promoting stats about cyber stalking.

To get the word out, the organization is using its website and social media channels. Its PR AOR 463 Communications is helping with media outreach.

“As a firm, we are heavily involved with digital industry stakeholders and helping them to reach out to various audiences with important messages about staying safe online and being better digital citizens,” said Krista Alestock, a director at the firm.

The organization also hosted a Twitter chat on Thursday, and it will stream a live event on Facebook later this month in anticipation of “Data Privacy Day,” which is January 28, said Kirkpatrick.

Last summer, Utah's Department of Health hired Love Communications for crisis support after the health records of more than 700,000 state residents were breached.

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