Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warned internet users at the Wilson Center this morning that cyberspace was becoming more dangerous as more and more Americans go online.

“Every individual on the net is vulner – is a potential, uh, opening,” Napolitano stated, adding that the internet was a “great thing.”

“We just want to make sure that everyone remains safe and free,” she continued. “So that requires everyone to take some responsibility, have good cyber-habits, make sure we use the phrase ‘Stop, think, connect.’”

Napolitano added that it was most important to push internet users, especially young children to practice what she described as “good cyber-hygiene.”

“In my judgement, if we could make it as ordinary as making sure you buckle your seatbelt when you get into a car, there are things you do before you get on the net, that would be a significant advance,” she added.

Napolitano added jokingly that if any school aged children were watching the broadcast they should “go to class,” but added that young Americans needed to know that “being able to participate in the security of the nation” was “a big deal.”

“We encourage young people to keep that in mind,” she added.