National STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ Campaign Celebrates Two-Year Anniversary and Achieves Rapid Growth Since LaunchExpands Beyond U.S. Borders with Public Safety Canada Partnership for “Get Cyber Safe” Campaign
WASHINGTON – As leaders of the national STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ Campaign on cybersecurityawareness, the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) along with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which leads the effort in the Federal Government, today announced that the public-private partnership has achieved significant growth since its launch on October 4, 2010 in conjunction with National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
Among many celebrated achievements – including continued expansion of the use of STOP. THINK. CONNECT. messaging by founding companies and DHS’s creation of a National Network of supporting organizations – is the expansion beyond U.S. borders through new partnerships. This includes a recently signed Memorandum of Cooperation with Public Safety Canada and its Get Cyber Safe Campaign. The partnership will align efforts from both campaigns as they strive to increase the understanding of cyber threats and empower Internet users to be safer and more secure online.
“As we begin National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we’re excited to celebrate the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Campaign’s continued expansion,” said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance. “We are proud that this message has reached millions of people and thankful for the continued support we receive from government and industry to bring the online safety messaging to larger audiences.”
APWG Secretary General Peter Cassidy said, “The STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Campaign is now well on its way to gaining a global footprint, as it should to achieve maximal effectiveness. The countries and multilateral treaty organizations, trade groups and standards bodies we’re working with today will quickly propel the campaign to global deployment.”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security leads efforts to cultivate the campaigns National Network of groups and organizations that advocate and promote cybersecurity messages. Through the National Network, the campaign works with several national youth-serving organizations such as Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), YWCA, Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E) America, National 4-H Council (4-H), InfraGard and Girl Scouts of the USA to provide training and resources related to online safety and encourage their membership to spread the campaign messages related to cybersecurity, cyber safety, and cyber responsibility with kids and teens.
The White House continues to show support for the campaign as well. For the third year in a row, President Obama has encouraged people to STOP. THINK. CONNECT. through a recently released proclamation for National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/10/01/presidential-proclamation-national-cybersecurity-awareness-month-2012). NCSAM is a national month of awareness held each October focusing on the need for improved online safety and security for all Americans.
Local government has also shown widespread support through organizations like the National Association of Counties. NACo’s current president: Douglas County (Nebraska) Commissioner Chris Rodgers, has made cybersecurity a priority for county governments with the organization’s Cybersecurity Task Force adopting STOP. THINK. CONNECT. as an education and awareness message.
Commissioner Rodgers added: “County governments play an important role in homeland security and are increasingly targets for hackers and viral attacks that could shut down county airports, water systems, electrical grids, and courthouses. I am pleased that the nation’s counties are part of this important campaign to help all of us better understand potential cyber threats and strengthen our cyber security efforts.”
In the private sector arena, the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Campaign is supported by many consumer-facing organizations that promote the campaign’s messages in their own various ways. This includes efforts in conjunction with National Cyber Security Awareness Month from:
STOP. THINK. CONNECT. is experiencing strong momentum across the globe, which is a testament to the efforts growing momentum. In recent weeks Public Safety Canada, The Organization of American States (OAS) and the Asia Pacific Computer Emergency Response Team (APCERT) have all joined the campaign. Canada has adopted STOP. THINK. CONNECT. and OAS and AP CERT joined as promotional collaborators to introduce member countries to the campaign.
The campaign’s Partner Program aims to address the worldwide problems of online security and cybercrime by harmonizing messaging across the globe. Efforts thus far include translating the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. slogan, tips, and advice into 13 languages and making these materials available to international communities along with establishing domain names for the STC Campaign under more than 30 regional and national Top Level Domains.
The campaign’s messages were created by the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Messaging Convention – a public-private partnership established in 2009 to develop the awareness effort. Information about founding STC Messaging Convention members is available at: http://stopthinkconnect.org/about-us/founders/.
The campaign’s three easy, actionable steps: STOP. THINK. CONNECT. are easy to understand and apply. NCSA also advises all Internet users to take security measures, understand the consequences of their behavior and actions and enjoy the benefits of the Internet. Here are some additional tips and advice:
The STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Campaign’s aforementioned accomplishments along with many others will be widely celebrated across the U.S. throughout National Cyber Security Awareness Month. NCSA is also releasing an infographic today in conjunction with STOP. THINK. CONNECT. that explores online safety practices of adult Internet users. The infographic is available for download at: http://staysafeonline.org/stay-safe-online/resources/protecting-the-internet-infographic The STOP. THINK. CONNECT. website is www.stopthinkconnect.org and STC supporters can get the latest news and updates on Facebook and Twitter at https://www.facebook.com/STOPTHINKCONNECT and at @STOPTHNKCONNECT.
About the APWG
About STOP. THINK. CONNECT.
Tola St. Matthew-Daniel