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This October marks the European Union’s 8th European Cybersecurity Month (ECSM), promoting online security among EU citizens. The annual cybersecurity awareness campaign is coordinated by the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) and the European Commission, and supported by the Member States and more than 300 partners from across industries.

Hundreds of activities, such as conferences, workshops, training sessions, general presentations, webinars and online campaigns, will take place across Europe for the entire month of October to raise awareness of cybersecurity and provide up-to-date digital security information through education and sharing of good practices. Each year, the European Cybersecurity Month brings together EU citizens to join forces under the slogan ‘Cybersecurity is a Shared Responsibility’ to unite against cyber threats.

This year’s ESCM campaign has been designed to address security issues surrounding the digitalisation of everyday life, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Encouraging people to ‘Think Before U Click’, the 2020 campaign highlights different cybersecurity themes to help users identify and prepare for cyber threats.

The first theme examines ‘Cyber Scams’ by sharing insights on current and potential cyber threats. Activities focus on phishing, business email compromise and online shopping fraud. The goal of this theme is to encourage users to have a heightened awareness of cyber scams when conducting business and personal transactions online.

The second theme centres around ‘Digital Skills’ by providing educational activities to inform the general public on information security. The theme covers e-privacy matters such as personal data protection, cyber bullying and cyber stalking. The sessions aim to promote the importance of cyber hygiene and establishing good practices online.

Executive Vice-President for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager, said: “As our daily lives and economies become increasingly dependent on digital solutions, we need to realise that cybersecurity concerns us all. It is important to foster a culture of state-of-the-art security across vital sectors of our economy and society.”

Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, said: “The European Cybersecurity Month aims at raising our cybersecurity awareness and getting us up to speed with the cyber threats; it reminds us that we can easily step up our own cybersecurity by getting into some good digital habits. Cybersecurity is essential for our European way of life.”

Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said: “Just like land, sea or air space, the digital information space sometimes has security loopholes that need to be closed. Our ambition is to offer EU citizens the safest information space in the world. This will be achieved notably through education. This is what the European Cybersecurity Month 2020 is about, which we are launching tomorrow to boost awareness about online safety and the cybersecurity skills needed for the future.”

EU Agency for Cybersecurity Executive Director, Juhan Lepassaar said: “This year’s European Cybersecurity Month explores how to make our shared cyber ecosystem more resilient by sharing best practices and developing cyber skills. Being aware of cyber scams and thinking before you click are part of the easy-to-follow advice to limit risks. The ECSM allows us the opportunity to engage directly with EU citizens, businesses and organisations to raise their awareness of cyber threats, build on this knowledge and together advance cybersecurity on all fronts.”.