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Cybersecurity advice from the US Government

The American Government wants to increase national security in peoples home and office by making them aware of cybercrime and how you use your computer.

Messages include, Think before you click. Know who's on the other side of that instant message. People are being told that what you say or do in cyberspace stays in cyberspace for many to see, steal and use against you or your government.

The Internet, has been described as the soft underbelly of the U.S. today. Speaking at a new cybersecurity exhibit at the International Spy Museum in Washington, McConnell said the Internet has "introduced a level of vulnerability that is unprecedented."

The Pentagon's computer systems are probed 360 million times a day, and one prominent power company has acknowledged that its networks see up to 70,000 scans a day.

The attackers could be terrorists aiming at the U.S. culture and economy, or nation-states looking to insert malicious computer code into the electrical grid that could be activated weeks or years from now.

The country's digital dependence includes control of drinking water, sewer systems, phone lines, banks, air traffic, government systems, all depend on the electric grid, and losing them for weeks would plunge the country into the 1800s.

Federal agencies, including the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security, are pouring more money into hiring computer experts and protecting their networks.

But there are persistent questions about how to ensure that Internet traffic is safe without violating personal privacy. One answer, is to begin a broader public dialogue about cybersecurity, making people more aware of the risks and how individuals can do their part at home and at work.

Much of the younger generation has grown up online and are more likely to know about secure passwords, antivirus software and dangerous spam e-mails that look to steal identities, bank accounts and government secrets.

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