Posted by Jacqueline Beauchere
Director of Trustworthy Computing Communications, Microsoft

On Monday, Microsoft received an award from the White House and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the company’s work in helping to keep individuals and families safer when they go online.

In a ceremony at the Eisenhower Executive Office building of the White House and presided over by White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, I was presented with an award for a video my team produced entitled, “Stop. Think. Connect.” That three-word phrase is the product of the Stop. Think. Connect. (STC) Messaging Convention, a coalition of more than 30 companies, non-profits and U.S. government agencies and departments, focused on raising awareness and educating the public about Internet safety. In addition to Microsoft, the STC Convention includes AT&T, Costco, Facebook, Google, McAfee, Symantec, VeriSign, Verizon, Wal-Mart, Yahoo! and others.

Our STC video, one in a five-part series of 30-second public service announcements, is a fun and quirky way of bringing Stop. Think. Connect. to life for Internet users. The “talking fingers” call out those imperative actions that individuals and families should take to help ensure they get the most from their online experiences. The other four videos offer STC advice and guidance for staying safer online while at home, at work, on the go, and during online game play.

The STC Convention aims to produce a collection of informational and educational materials, and – like the Stop. Think. Connect. message itself – drive people to action around online safety. In other words, STOP: pause to consider what you plan to do online when you log in; THINK: make sure, for instance, that you provide the right amount of personal information to complete a desired transaction, and consider how that information might be misused; and then, CONNECT: with someone or some entity in the online world – and enjoy that experience in the safest, most trusted way possible.

The Convention also adopted a secondary, supporting message, “Safer for me, more secure for all,” in an effort to demonstrate to individuals and families the broader follow-on benefits of exercising safer online habits and practices. To learn more, visit: www.microsoft.com/security and www.stopthinkconnect.org.