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Stop ~ Think ~ Connect


Stop Think Connect

Do you remember the  Smokey The Bear campaign?  If so, your likely to remember the slogan "Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires".   For many years this public service announcement was broadcast on television.  In fact, its the longest running campaign in Ad Council history.  First introduced in 1944.

According to the Ad Council, this Forest Fire Prevention campaign has helped reduce the number of acres lost annually from 22 million to 8.4 million in (2000).  In 2000, the slogan was changed to "Only You Can Prevent Wildfires".

Enter Stop Think Connect a new kind of campaign targeting a different type of wildfire.  One which effects us all, one that connects us all.  Staying Safe in a Cyber World.

The official Introduction from Howard A. Schmidt, Special Assistant to the President and Cyber Security Coordinator made its way to cyberspace on March 18, 2011.  Views are no where near the number to make any significant impact (yet).  However, the point of the initial introduction of Stop Think Connect by Howard was to create awareness by calling for the marketplace to take action.  Specifically, use competition by asking for the public to  come up with a 30 second add about Stop Think Connect.

For example, see the 30 second commercial by Microsoft or Google Stop Think Connect on YouTube for more adds.

Stop - before you click on a link, open an attachment or reveal personal information online

Think - do all of my devices have accurate and up to date security settings

Connect - knowing your helping make the web safer for you and for everyone

It remains to be seen if the Stop Think Connect campaign will have the same effect at prevention and safety as has the Smokey The Bear campaign.  Time will tell.  But one thing I'm sure of, the campaign has the potential of getting into the consciousness of people.  Perhaps as more famous people get involved (as celebrity seems to have that effect on us) or a sustained consistent message via PSA's will help its promotion.  Whichever the mechanism, its impact on cybersecurity will be significant if it takes hold of us as Smokey has done.

Incidently, it was campaigns such as these that guided me in establishing Simple Secure IT with the slogan, Keep IT Simple, Make IT Secure, Use IT Everywhere.  In general, any campaign that stops short of establishing and holding these types of significant, explicit messages has an upward battle in today's world of increasing information overload and decreasing attention spans.