STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Campaign Celebrates Rapid Global Expansion and Significant Partnership Growth Since October 2010 Launch Public and Private Industries Hail STOP. THINK. CONNECT. as Best-Practice to Stay Safe Online

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In three years since its launch in conjunction with National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign has reached international heights and impacted millions of people through efforts from its many public and private industry campaign partners. As the preeminent global cybersecurity education and awareness campaign, a dynamic set of government, private and non-profit organizations use STOP. THINK. CONNECT. messaging on a daily basis to positively impact the cybersecurity practices of all digital citizens.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130912/DC78610LOGO)

The common action step for all Internet users is STOP. THINK. CONNECT.  Take safety and security precautions, understand the consequences of your actions and behaviors and connect and enjoy the Internet. The campaign provides basic security principles including keep a clean machine, own your online presence and protect your personal information to help people with simple common sense advice they can apply every day to online activities.

Since 2012, the campaign has achieved 177 percent growth in partnerships with Fortune 500 companies, "mom and pop" small businesses, colleges and universities, regional banks and a host of other organizations widely adopting the campaign's messages. Hallmark Cards, The Council of Better Business Bureaus and The Boeing Company are among the newest entities supporting the campaign. A full overview of STOP. THINK. CONNECT. and campaign partners is available at http://www.stopthinkconnect.org/get-involved/partner-program/our-partners.

In addition to numerous partnerships, STOP. THINK. CONNECT.'s global footprint is expanding with messages translated into four languages: Spanish, French (Canadian), Portuguese (Brazilian) and Japanese. The campaign, which launched its internationalization program in 2011, currently has official partnerships in Canada, the Organization of American States, Panama and Paraguay. Its international scale and reach will only continue to grow through increased global partnerships.

The campaign is directed under the leadership of the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), while the U.S. Department of Homeland Security leads the initiative's federal engagement.  

"The adoption of STOP. THINK. CONNECT. so quickly and by such a diverse group of companies and organizations, indicates the growing consensus about the need for education and awareness about online safety and security, and the importance of clear, concise messaging to help Internet users," said Michael Kaiser, executive director of NCSA. "We're proud of the campaign's partnerships and look forward to more alliances as its footprint continues to grow. We're also pleased to see many of our partners promoting STOP. THINK. CONNECT. as a leading best-practice for online safety."

Peter Cassidy, secretary general of the APWG and co-founder of the awareness campaign said, "The STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign has created a universal platform to educate all sectors and individuals about online safety. We're heartened that the campaign's message is being carried to the four corners of the globe and we look forward to achieving global adoption and ubiquitous deployment of the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign."

"Keeping people safer and more secure online requires a holistic approach, including public awareness-raising, consumer education and partnerships," said Jacqueline Beauchere, chief online safety officer at Microsoft Corp., a founding member of STOP. THINK. CONNECT.  "Microsoft is delighted to see the campaign reaching individuals, communities, and organizations across the U.S. and around the globe. We look forward to building more partnerships that help us continue the momentum and expand the reach of the campaign."  

"Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers identify scams for more than a century," says Carrie A. Hurt, president and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. "Scammers used to 'get a foot in the door' – literally – in order to keep talking and keep pushing their potential victim. Today, that foot in the door is much more likely to be a link in an email or a message on social media. That's why BBB is so pleased to join the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign to educate consumers about cyber security and online scams."

The scope of the campaign is evolving on a daily basis, with upcoming partner offerings and events such as:  

  • ADP Employees to Discuss Internet Safety in U.S. Schools Nationwide:  During various dates in October in honor of NCSAM, many ADP associates will be speaking to children in schools in their local communities all across the U.S. to promote the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. message and utilize www.staysafeonline.org materials for their presentation.
  • Visa Releases Consumer Security Survey and Infographic on Oversharing: To coincide with National Cyber Security Awareness Month, Visa has released the results of a survey on consumer sharing habits over social media to help raise awareness about how certain types of information can put financial and online accounts at risk. The full blog post and infographic are available here:
    http://www.visasecuritysense.com/en_US/fraud-news.jsp#OMG2muchinfo
  • PayPal Releasing Mobile Security Whitepaper, Mid-October: PayPal will be releasing a mobile security whitepaper dispelling common security misperceptions about mobile. In the paper, PayPal will outline the current mobile security landscape and the future for the industry. PayPal will also share tips from STOP. THINK. CONNECT. on how consumers can stay safe on mobile devices.

Looking back at the campaign's growth, a few highlights from its successes over the past year include:

  • Public Service Announcements in Times Square: A STOP. THINK. CONNECT. PSA in Times Square is expected to reach more than 151 million people between August-October of 2013.
  • Launching a Successful Twitter Chat Program: Nearly 17 million people have participated in #ChatSTC Twitter Chats since October 2012.
  • Running Metro Ads: A 2012 STOP. THINK. CONNECT. poster campaign in the Washington, D.C. Metro subway system reached over eight million commuters.
  • Printed Messaging on AT&T Billing: In 2012, the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. logo and Keep a Clean Machine tips were printed on AT&T consumer bills for the second year in a row and reached 20-30 million customers.
  • Integrating STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Messages into Federal Trade Commission Website: STOP. THINK. CONNECT. messaging is fully integrated into the Federal Trade Commission's www.OnGuardOnline.gov consumer education website.

STOP. THINK. CONNECT. is a simple, actionable way to stay safe online:

  • STOP: Before you use the Internet, take time to understand the risks and learn how to spot potential problems.
  • THINK: Take a moment to be certain the path ahead is clear. Watch for warning signs and consider how your actions online could impact your safety or your family's.
  • CONNECT: Enjoy the Internet with greater confidence, knowing you've taken the right steps to safeguard yourself and your computer.

More information and helpful tips are available at www.stopthinkconnect.org. This year in conjunction with NCSAM, a new tip sheet is available about botnets at: http://staysafeonline.org/ncsam/resources/botnet-fact-sheet. You can also learn more information about staying safe online by participating in #ChatSTC Twitter Chats throughout October.  A full listing of Twitter Chats is available at: http://www.stopthinkconnect.org/get-involved/twitter-chats/.

About National Cyber Security Awareness Month
Now in its 10th year, NCSAM is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity in order to increase the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident. Since President Obama's proclamation in 2004, NCSAM has been formally recognized by Congress; federal, state and local governments, as well as leaders from industry and academia. This united effort is necessary to maintain a cyberspace that is safer, more resilient and remains a source of tremendous opportunity and growth for years to come. For more information, visit http://www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam or www.dhs.gov/national-cyber-security-awareness-month.

About The National Cyber Security Alliance
The National Cyber Security Alliance is a non-profit organization. Through collaboration with the government, corporate, non-profit and academic sectors, the mission of the NCSA is to educate and empower a digital citizenry to use the Internet securely and safely protect themselves and the technology they use and the digital assets we all share. Learn more at www.staysafeonline.org.

About STOP. THINK. CONNECT.
STOP. THINK. CONNECT. is the national cybersecurity education and awareness campaign. The campaign was created by an unprecedented coalition of private companies, non-profits and government organizations with leadership provided by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG).  The Department of Homeland Security leads the federal engagement in the campaign. Learn how to get involved at the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/STOPTHINKCONNECT, on Twitter at @STOPTHNKCONNECT, and at www.stopthinkconnect.org.

SOURCE National Cyber Security Alliance



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