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STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Campaign Marks Four Years of Continued Global and Partner Expansion as National Cyber Security Awareness Month Enters Second Week

A coordinated message to help all digital citizens stay safe online, STOP.THINK.CONNECT. impacts millions through efforts of public and private industries.

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Washington, DC, Oct. 8, 2014 – Since it was launched in October 2010, STOP.THINK.CONNECT., the preeminent global cybersecurity education and awareness campaign, has continued to make an international impact and expand its roster of partners with its simple but increasingly vital message to stay safe and secure online.

In the four years since it began in conjunction with National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), STOP.THINK.CONNECT. has signed on nearly 200 Fortune 500 companies, small- and medium-sized businesses, colleges and universities, regional banks and a host of other organizations as official partners of the campaign. STOP. THINK. CONNECT. partners adopt the campaign’s messages and use materials to educate their own communities about online safety. Ricoh Americas Corp., GM Financial and Vassar College are among the newest entities supporting the campaign. A full overview of STOP. THINK. CONNECT.’s partner program and a list of all participants is available at  http://ncsam.info/Za4mrM.

The expansion of the STOP. THINK.CONNECT. campaign continues hand-in-hand with that of NCSAM, co-sponsored by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which includes the participation of a multitude of industry leaders and is celebrated each year in October. Exploring a different weekly theme throughout the month, this week, NCSAM focuses on secure development of IT products, bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders – from individuals, small businesses and local non-profits to academia, multinational corporations and governments – to share the message of our shared responsibility to protect the Internet.

 

EXPANDING THE STOP.THINK.CONNECT. FOOTPRINT

The STOP.THINK.CONNECT. directive for all Internet users – whether young people surfing the web or businesses conducting transactions – is to take safety and security precautions when online, understand the consequences of your actions and behaviors and connect and enjoy the Internet. The campaign emphasizes basic steps users should take when connected, such as keep a clean machine, own your online presence and protect your personal information.  

NCSA and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), along with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which leads the effort on behalf of the Federal Government, drive the STOP.THINK.CONNECT. campaign’s efforts to help Internet users understand the risks that come with using the Internet as well as the importance of practicing safe online behavior. Originally launched in the United States, the campaign has gone global with translations into four languages ‒ Spanish, French (Canadian), Portuguese (Brazilian), Japanese ‒ and several more languages on the way.

“The STOP.THINK.CONNECT. message is one that transcends borders, so it’s no surprise that the campaign is being adopted across the globe,” said Peter Cassidy, secretary general of the APWG and co-founder of the awareness campaign. “STOP.THINK.CONNECT. gives digital citizens worldwide the resources and tools they need to understand online safety and protect their devices.”

On October 15, APWG will hold an event at ICANN 51, The Hemispheric Unification of Cyber Security Awareness Messaging, which will deliver STOP.THINK.CONNECT.’s message through a hemisphere-wide campaign, leveraging initial adoption by nation-states in North America, Central America and South America. (For more information, visit http://la51.icann.org/en/schedule/wed-apwg-cyber-security.)  

The STOP.THINK.CONNECT campaign, which launched its international program in 2011, currently has official partnerships in Canada, Australia, Panama, the European Union, India, Japan, Mexico and other countries and regions. As citizens worldwide begin to understand the importance of a safe and secure Internet, STOP.THINK.CONNECT. is expected to grow with increased global partnerships.   

A few highlights illustrating STOP.THINK.CONNECT.’s successes over the past year are:

  • The Department of Homeland Security released STOP. THINK. CONNECT. PSAs on October 1, 2014 for broadcast on television stations across the United States (http://stcguide.com/explore/campaign-materials)  
  • Reaching nearly 5 million people and garnering more than 42 million impressions during the #ChatSTC Twitter chats held since National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2013.
  • Convening an International Online Safety Awareness Meeting with more than 30 leading international non-profits, financial institutions, corporations, and colleges and universities to discuss best practices and ways to improve communication around global online safety awareness.
  • Creating the 2 Steps Ahead campaign, which uses STOP. THINK. CONNECT. messaging to educate people about 2-factor authentication and adding layers of security to their online accounts. (To download posters and tip sheets and watch a video, visit: http://ncsam.info/1s2kB5D)
  • Working with partners to develop 20 new online safety videos – covering everything from phishing and malware to protecting your personal information and owning your online presence.  To watch the videos, visit http://bit.ly/SPasX6

“STOP.THINK.CONNECT.’s steady growth every year is a testament to the importance of a clear actionable message that can be a guidepost for everyone’s online safety and security,” said Michael Kaiser, executive director of NCSA. “We are delighted and proud that more and more businesses and organizations are becoming a part of this crucial campaign and helping to spread cybersecurity education and awareness.”

 

NCSAM WEEK 2 EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES

Targeting stakeholders and educating others about what vulnerabilities to be aware of in our computers, phones and tablets, Week 2 includes several key events:

Bloomberg Webinar: On Thursday, October 9, Bloomberg will host an event in Washington, D.C., “Building Security Into Technology: The Future of Embedded Security,” which will also be available on webcast. Speakers will discuss the developments in embedded security in information technology products, focusing on how industry, government and individuals can work together to ensure that cybersecurity is ingrained at every stage of the product development cycle. For more information log on to http://ncsam.info/1uS4olT.

Better Business Bureau Secure Your ID Day: On Saturday, October 11, BBBs across North America will hold an identity theft prevention event featuring free on-site shredding and electronic recycling plus tips to protect your identity. To see if your local BBB is participating, please visit www.BBB.org. BBB is also encouraging businesses to create or update a data security plan to help protect their customers’ personal information. Data Security – Made Simpler, a step-by-step guide, is available online for free at http://ncsam.info/1yHTMIM. BBBs across North America will also be holding educational events, media interviews and other promotions to encourage cybersecurity best practices among consumers and businesses.

AT&T Hackathon: Partnering with the Howard University School of Business, AT&T will host the “AT&T Mobile App Hackathon in D.C.” on October 10 and 11. With a women-in-tech focus, the event (http://ncsam.info/1vIbYwv) will open up doors for entrepreneurs, students and professionals who are inspired by the power of technology to develop mobile apps using cutting edge platforms and hardware supplied on site.

Learn about more events and activities or list yours at www.staysafeonline.org.ncsam/events

 

It’s Never Too Late to Get Involved

NCSAM supporters can get the latest news and updates on Facebook at www.facebook.com/staysafeonline and on Twitter at @StaySafeOnline. This week’s Twitter chat, one of a month-long series of Twitter chats, is Thursday, October 9 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time using the hashtag #chatSTC. NCSAM’s official Twitter hashtag is #NCSAM. A full calendar of Twitter chats is available at: http://www.stopthinkconnect.org/twitterchats. NCSA also welcomes organizations to show their support for NCSAM by becoming an official NCSAM Champion and submitting their registration at http://www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam/champions/. So far, more than 300 champions have signed up to spread the word.

 

About The National Cyber Security Alliance
The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) is the nation's leading nonprofit public private partnership promoting the safe and secure use of the Internet. Working with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), private sector sponsors and non-profit collaborators to promote cybersecurity awareness, NCSA board members include representatives from ADP, AT&T, Bank of America, Comcast Corporation, EMC Corporation, ESET, Facebook, Google, Intel, Leidos, McAfee, Microsoft, PayPal, Symantec, Trend Micro, Verizon and Visa. Through collaboration with the government, corporate, non-profit and academic sectors, NCSA’s mission is to educate and empower a digital citizenry to use the Internet securely and safely, protect themselves and the technology they use, and protect the digital assets we all share. For more information on NCSA please visit: http://www.staysafeonline.org/about-us/overview/

 

About STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™
STOP. THINK. CONNECT. is the global 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 STOPTHINKCONNECT.org .

  

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Tola St. Matthew-Daniel
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