Katie Hallen -- October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month - it's an important time to focus on online safety as a national priority, understand the current threats, and empower ourselves with new tools and information to expore the digital world with confidence.
On October 4, a public-private coalition led by the U.S. government, private companies from Google to Walmart, and nonprofits unveiled a single online safety message that will form the basis of a new national campaign: "Stop. Think. Connect."
"Stop. Think. Connect." came about after a yearlong process of research, opinion polling, focus groups, and collaboration across organizations. Led by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), the coalition of organizations came together in a remarkable way to adopt a single unified message that hopes to do for online safety what "Smokey Bear" did for forest fire prevention and "Click It or Ticket" did for seatbelt safety.
President Obama is also supporting "Stop. Think. Connect." As he wrote in a recent presidential proclamation, "Through this initiative, Americans can learn about and become more aware of risks in cyberspace, and be empowered to make choices that contribute to our overall security."
To learn more, check out these stories in USA TODAY and CNET. Also, take the "Stop. Think. Connect." security quiz on Facebook to see how safe you are online. Follow the news on Twitter by using the hashtags #NCSAM and #STConnect.