Cybersecurity alliance gains momentum

The National Cyber Security Alliance, a partnership between the federal government and private-sector companies, announced March 12 that its membership has more than doubled in its first month, with 40 new companies joining. The alliance now has 78 members.

The alliance's Stay Safe Online Campaign Web site, www.staysafeonline.info, has received more than 2 million hits since its launch one month ago.

The alliance is a cooperative effort between industry and government organizations to foster awareness of cybersecurity through educational outreach and public awareness. Its members are working to raise citizen awareness of the critical role computer security plays in protecting the nation's Internet infrastructure, and to encourage computer users to protect their home and small business systems.

The alliance is asking industry to encourage consumers to check their computer security when the time changes twice yearly. The change to daylight savings time occurs April 7.

"In this digital age, computer safety checks should be as routine as checking smoke detectors, the locks on your door or the brakes in your car. Checking computer safety is vital to protecting consumers," said Richard Clarke, special adviser to the president for cyberspace security.

Computer viruses, such as "Code Red," "Melissa" and "I Love You," have brought millions of computer systems to a standstill, hindering businesses and government and frustrating millions of Americans. Citizens can contribute to cybersecurity nationwide by taking precautions like using virus protection software every day.

The www.staysafeonline.info Web site provides tips, alerts, safety checklists, protective measures and other information to promote safe and responsible computer use.

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