National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM): Learn to protect yourself
October 3, 2017
Steph Lavallee
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shred it bins
Image: Phil Johnson

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, a great time to make sure your digital life is secure. IS&T is publishing security-related blog posts throughout the month: topics will range from phishing tips and tricks, to tips for securing your network-capable printer, to overviews of LastPass and CrashPlan. Read on and play it safe!

When you think of October, you tend to think of pumpkins, apple cider, cozy sweaters, and Halloween. What you might not think about is how secure your computer, tablet, phone, and personal data are. You should. October is also National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). Started officially in 2004 by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the US Department of Homeland Security, this month-long campaign was created to raise awareness and promote diligence about being secure online.

Information Systems and Technology (IS&T) wants to help you to be a secure member of MIT’s computing community. That’s why during October, we will be hosting events on campus and posting a series of articles on our website about secure computing. See the full round-up of our top ten tips, or check out our handy graphic:

Shred-it, device tagging, and computer security event

IS&T will be hosting a security event on October 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Street area of the Stata Center. We will have bins provided by Shred-it to collect your old papers, hard drives, and other media for secure destruction. You can bring the following items:

  • Any paper you no longer need, including documents and manila folders (no need to remove staples, paper clips, or binder clips)
  • Hard drives
  • Digital tapes
  • CDs/DVDs
  • Flash/thumb drives

Note: While there is no limit to the amount of paper you can bring, IS&T can only accept 10 non-paper items (hard drives, CDs, digital tapes, flash/thumb drives) per person.

Staff from IS&T’s Walk-in Service Desk will also be on hand to tag your laptop and/or tablet with STOP Security Plates. These tags serve as both a theft deterrent and to facilitate recovery should your device be lost or stolen. Device tagging is a free service offered to all members of the MIT community, sponsored by IS&T in partnership with the MIT Police. If you are unable to come to the October 12 event, device tagging is available at IS&T’s Service Desk in the Atlas Service Center (E17-106) weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Members of IS&T’s Security Team will be on hand to help you get recommended antivirus and backup software installed on your device. They can also answer any questions you might have about secure computing at MIT.

More information

To find out how to host a Shred-it cleanout event for your department, lab, or center, visit

If you have any questions about the services offered at IS&T’s event on October 12, contact the IS&T Digital Communications Team.

If you have security-related questions and can’t make the event, send an email to IS&T's Security Team.

shred it day poster