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20 Years Of Security Awareness

Think Security First! was founded more than 20 years ago as the nation’s very first cybersecurity and fraud awareness campaign.

Two decades later and the original hunch was still right. That the best crime-fighting technology of them all is wedged right between our ears.

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With AI now accelerating every type of cybercrime, scam, and fraud, it’s even more urgent for all of us to maximize the most powerful crime-fighting tool we all already have. Our own vigilance and awareness.

Our History

Think Security First was first launched by Neal O’Farrell more than 20 years ago as the first experiment to raise the security awareness of an entire city.

The city was Walnut Creek CA, population 64,000, and the initiative included:

  • Teaching about cybercrime, fraud, and scams to every school in the city.
  • Weekly breakfast security briefings for the small business community.
  • The first city in the country to teach its entire police department about identity theft prevention and victim response.
  • The distribution of security awareness materials to every home in the city.
  • The launch of a cybersecurity center at the city’s Community College.

The idea was so successful the city formally proclaimed April of every year to be think security first month.

Supporters of the initiative included Microsoft, Symantec, McAfee, Cisco, AT&T, ISC2, the US Chamber of Commerce, and the Department of Homeland Security.

Aug 29, 2003

Walnut Creek classes target cyber crime / Focus to be on identity theft, Internet security (SF Gate)