Can you believe we’re already into Week 3 of National Cyber Security Awareness Month? Per our amazing friends at the National Cyber Security Alliance, the week’s topic focuses on protecting connected communities and families online.

“Wherever we are and however we access the digital world, every step we take to be safer will make ourselves, our families and our communities more secure,” says the campaign’s website “In our digital lives we may face any number of issues, from preventing or responding to cybercrime, cyberbullying and scams to teaching children to use the Internet safely, more securely and responsibly.”

One of the salient points of the week is simple and to the point: “We never use the Internet in isolation.”

While adults have enjoyed the breadth of information and connectivity for just 20-25 years, it’s been core to the lifestyles of younger generations. As such, it’s imperative we remain diligent in teaching children and young users the dangers that lurk online. It’s one of the reasons the month uses the hashtag #CyberAware.

This challenge has been accepted by our very own Dr. Chase Cunningham, who teamed with other security-minded professionals to create the Cynja graphic novel series. Co-authored by Cunningham and Heather C. Dahl, and illustrated by Shirow Di Rosso, the Cynja uses cyber-based storylines and eye-catching illustrations to help teach children how to protect themselves online.

“Children, unfortunately, are easy targets online for malicious individuals,” said Cunningham. “By equipping them with the skills and information to make smart choices, they can better protect themselves from online predators. The earlier we can teach them these imperative lessons the better.”

Chase adds that failing to provide real parental oversight for children’s online behavior is very similar to leaving them unattended in a public or dangerous area.

“Odds are you wouldn’t do that as a parent. Why would you do that with when your kids’ digital identity or safety are in danger? Everyone has access to the same Internet. Safeguard your children online just as you would protect them from predators at the playground.”

To learn more about protecting children online, please visit