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.

The research, conducted by Heart + Mind Strategies, revealed that consumers are concerned about their own personal online security and safety – 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 more safe and secure online is important for themselves and their family, they also feel it’s important as a global citizen: 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 are ready for a public awareness campaign about online safety. They have high interest and personal concern coupled with 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 Survey

Heart + Mind Strategies conducted the national survey online with 1,007 U.S. adults ages 18 and up between May 21-25, 2010. The poll was part of an extensive analysis on online behaviors and attitudes for NCSA and APWG.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with non-response, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey adjustments.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have volunteered to participate in online surveys and polls. The data were targeted to reflect the demographic composition of the United States. Because the sample is based on those who initially self-selected for participation in online panels rather than a probability sample, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

Read the Awareness Messaging Research Summary