The Messaging Convention: A Short History

A Unified Cybersecurity Messaging Campaign
Promises to Upgrade the User - Worldwide

In Spring, 2009 APWG Secretary General Peter Cassidy, in collaboration with APWG Senior Research Fellow and APWG.EU Trustee Aimee Larsen-Kirkpatrick, then an NCSA manager, authored a program prospectus called Optimizing Counter-eCrime Consumer Education Through Unified Online Safety Messaging, calling for the development of a unified messaging scheme that would be shared by industry and government agencies, enhancing resonance and retention and reducing conflicting messaging.

The APWG circulated the program prospectus among its members who had advocated APWG activism in addressing onsumer cybersecurity awareness and education, as well its sponsoring members, steering committee and the APWG cybercrime researcher community while NCSA reached out to government and commercial stakeholders from its sponsors.
The first muster of the Messaging Convention called by APWG in June 2009 at APWG member Fox Interactive Media in Beverly Hills, almost immediately catalyzed the group and its sense of mission. Striking was the fact that with personnel from around 20 companies, the delegates agreed on the core principles for the message identified by afternoon session. A consensus was struck that the work proposed - develop and deploy a common cybersecurity awareness suite - was a reasonable and vital proposal, and that it should continue to completion and deployed.

This coalition of industry, government and non-profits - the ad hoc Online Consumer Security and Safety
Messaging Convention - now incorporated as a Georgia, USA non-profit corporation as the STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ Messaging Convention, Inc. - embarked upon an intensive collaborative effort to develop a messaging suite that would be deployed universally by the public and private sectors, creating resonanance with the general public enhancing the messages' retention required to ultimately change behavior toward safer online habits.  

The STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Messaging Convention launched its STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™public-awareness slogan and logo in October 2010. In December, 2010, the APWG and NCSA incorporated the Messaging Convention as a stand alone non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to the mission of developing, testing and propagating STOP. THINK. CONNECT. online safety messaging that can be used in common by government and industry.

Each and every instantiation of the STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™ cybersecurity awareness message assets strengthens the resonance of the global campaign. Current actively deployed national STOP. THINK. CONNECT.campaigns can be found in these nations:

Others are being assembled at this time and some 25 national curator genesis teams are evaluating the campaign's memorandum of cooperation. The Messaging Convention believes its unified messaging archecture will provide maximal coverage and drive the campaign toward ubiquitous, global deployment. 

The STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Messaging Convention, Inc. has been determined by the United States IRS to be a public charity, tax-exempted under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions and many kinds of bequests are fully tax deductable.