Research & Surveys Overview

The Research Behind the Message

STOP. THINK. CONNECT. is a simple, actionable message for online safety, and it applies to everyone.
A coalition of government, industry and nonprofit organizations chose "STOP. THINK. CONNECT." as the first unified message for online safety after extensive research – a yearlong endeavor that included focus groups, opinion polling, and government-industry collaboration.

Two national studies, conducted by Heart + Mind Strategies, revealed that consumers are concerned about their own personal online security, safety and privacy and are ready to learn. They crave personal control and positive reinforcement that online safety is something they can personally manage, and they seek information that’s actionable and easy to understand.

While they feel taking action to be safer and more secure online is important for themselves and their families, they also feel it’s important as global citizens: that their individual actions make the online community safer for everyone else around the world.

  • An Informed Message

    STOP. THINK. CONNECT. is about taking a moment to stop and think about the places we visit online, the information that we share and the communities in which we participate before and while we are connected to the Internet.

    It’s a message that applies to everyone personally and speaks to individual control, but at the same time it extends a bridge from the individual to the global online community.

    The research reveals that digital citizens have high interest and personal concern coupled with a high level of awareness on cybersecurity issues. Importantly, they believe they can personally make a difference and recognize they could be doing more.

About the National Surveys
From May 21 to 25, 2010, Heart+Mind Strategies conducted an online national survey of 1,007 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. The poll was part of an extensive analysis on online behaviors and attitudes for the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG).

In 2013, NCSA convened a Privacy Messaging Development Committee (PMDC) comprised of 35+ members from civil society, nonprofits, government and industry with the mission to develop research-based, harmonized privacy messaging. Heart+Mind Strategies conducted the national survey online in two phases – in phase I, 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older were surveyed between Dec. 27, 2013, and Jan. 5, 2014; and in phase II, 501 U.S. adults ages 18 and older were surveyed between April 7 and 9, 2014. The polls were part of an extensive evaluation of messaging surrounding online privacy for NCSA.

Respondents for these surveys were selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls. Because the samples were based on those who initially self-selected for participation rather than probability samples, no estimates of sampling error can be calculated. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including but not limited to sampling error, coverage error and measurement error.