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STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ is the global online safety awareness campaign to help all digital citizens stay safer and more secure online. The message was created by an unprecedented coalition of private companies, non-profits and government organizations.  APWG proposed a 'messaging convention' of unified awareness assets to its members in 2008 and 2009 and worked with co-founder National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCSA) to muster the initial coalition in June of 2009.

The STOP. THINK. CONNECT. messaging assets were subsequently developed by this cross-sector coalition with research and development leadership provided by the APWG and NCSA.

The campaign was officially launched in October of 2010 when the United States Department of Homeland Security announced the adoption of the campaign for the United States of America. Today the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. campaign and has been deployed in 14 nations with scores more national campaigns in some phase of deployment and/or due diligence.

Campaign Goals and Objectives

STOP. THINK. CONNECT. encourages all Internet users to be more vigilant about practicing safe online habits; ensure that Internet safety is perceived as a shared responsibility at home, in the workplace, and throughout our communities; and transform the way the public and private sector, NGOs, governments and inter-governmental organizations collaborate to make cybersecurity a reality.

The Messaging Convention's terminal objective is to upgrade every ICT users' understanding of risks that come with using the Internet - and the importance of practicing safe online behavior.

The Messaging Convention aims to:

  • Increase and reinforce awareness of cybersecurity, including associated risks and threats, and provide solutions for increasing cybersecurity.
  • Communicate approaches and strategies for the public to keep themselves, their families and their communities safer online.
  • Shift perception of cybersecurity among the American public from avoidance of the unknown to acknowledgement of shared responsibility.
  • Engage the public, the private sector and state and local governments in our nation's effort to improve cybersecurity.
  • Increase the number of national stakeholders and community-based organizations engaged in educating the public about cybersecurity and what people can do to protect themselves online.

About the Messaging Convention

The STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Messaging Convention, Inc. is the global manager of the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. cybersecurity awareness campaign assets and is jointly administered by the APWG and the NCSA. The Messaging Convention, Inc. is a Georgia for-for-profit corporation established in October, 2014.

The United States Internal Revenue Service issued a letter of determination in February 2015, advising the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Messaging Convention, Inc. that the company was found to be qualified as a tax-exempt public charity under section 501c3 of the IRS code.

The registration date for the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. service mark is July 21, 2012 and the service mark manifest is lodged at the United State Patent and Trademark Office here:


About the APWG

APWG is the international coalition unifying the global response to cybercrime across industry, government and law-enforcement sectors and NGO communities. APWG’s membership of more than 2100 institutions worldwide is as global as its outlook, with its directors, managers and research fellows advising: national governments; global governance bodies like the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, International Telecommunications Union and ICANN; hemispheric and global trade groups; and multilateral treaty organizations such as the European Commission, the G8 High Technology Crime Subgroup, Council of Europe's Convention on Cybercrime, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Europol EC3 and the Organization of American States. APWG is a member of the steering group of the Commonwealth Cybercrime Initiative (CCI) at the Commonwealth of Nations.

Operationally, the APWG conducts its missions through: APWG, a US-based 501(c)6 organization; the APWG.EU, the institution's European chapter established in Barcelona in 2013 as a non-profit research foundation incorporated in Spain and managed by an independent board, including APWG founding directors; and the STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Messaging Convention, Inc, a US-based non-profit 501(c)3 corporation jointly managed by APWG and Washington, D.C.-based NCSA.

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 empower a digital citizenry to use the Internet securely and safely protecting themselves and the technology they use and the digital assets we all share. NCSA works to create a culture of cyber security and safety through education and awareness activities. Visit www.staysafeonline.org for more information.