After 9-11, there was a new government agency formed. It is called the “Department of Homeland Security.” It protects the United States and its citizens from terrorist acts through various methods. So what does this agency have to do with the internet?
The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, or US-CERT, is a branch of the National Cyber Security and Communications Integration Center, which is itself a division of the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Per the US-CERT website, “The Department of Homeland Security's United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) leads efforts to improve the nation's cybersecurity posture, coordinate cyber information sharing, and proactively manage cyber risks to the Nation while protecting the constitutional rights of Americans. US-CERT strives to be a trusted global leader in cybersecurity - collaborative, agile, and responsive in a dynamic and complex environment.”
That statement, can be both an understatement and an overstatement all at once. It is an understatement if you do not understand their mission, and an overstatement should you not believe in their mission
For the general user, whether home or small business, The US-CERT is a wealth of information and tips. For instance, they are known for their “Alerts”, via the National Cyber Awareness System. Here, you will find alerts, bulletins and tips, as well as a link to current security activity.
You will always find up to date info on phishing scams, as well as general security tips, whether it is securing your online presence or your social networking presence. Currently on their site, you can view tips on viruses and how to avoid/eradicate them, as well as securing your NEW computer. The site itself is very easy to understand and get around. From time to time, there will be a featured article on their site as well. At the time of writing, the featured article was on “The Cloud”.
It will also announce new apps and sites related to security and safety such as the “Operation Predator” iOS application.
Many people have questioned the need for government. This is one division that should not be questioned, but rather listened to.