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Girl Scouts of the USA Joins U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity Campaign

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 22, 2012

Contacts:
Valerie Geiss, (212) 852-8111, vgeiss@girlscouts.org
Alice Hockenbury, (202) 659-3780, ahockenbury@girlscouts.org

New York, N.Y. — Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) announced today that it has joined a national initiative developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to raise awareness about cybersecurity.

The initiative, known as Stop. Think. Connect., is a national public awareness effort involving government, industry, and nonprofits designed to increase Internet security by empowering Americans to be more vigilant about practicing safer online habits. As part of the partnership, Girl Scouts will educate its 3.2-million members on the issue, and encourage them to educate their communities.

The official announcement took place earlier today at the Government Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (GFIRST) Conference in Atlanta, Ga.

"Today, we are more connected to the Internet than ever before, but increased interconnectivity increases the risk of theft, fraud and abuse," said Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. "We are proud to partner with Girl Scouts of the USA to help women and girls protect themselves online and do their part to ensure that cyberspace is a safe and secure environment for all Internet users."

"This collaboration between Girl Scouts and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will empower girls to become leaders and advocates for the safe and responsible use of technology," said Anna Maria Chávez, Chief Executive Officer of the Girl Scouts of the USA. "We know that girls are online. As adults, it is our responsibility to create an environment that encourages girls to establish healthy online habits."

Although the Internet is a great place to learn and play, children—and particularly young women—can become victims of cyber bullies, cyber predators, and other online criminals, if they do not first stop, then think about what they are doing, and finally connect over the Internet in a careful way.

This partnership comes as Girl Scout celebrates its 100th anniversary during which the iconic organization launched a cause campaign known as ToGetHerThere. ToGetHerThere is designed to bring about balanced leadership across all sectors in a single generation by supporting girls and their leadership development. The partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is one way to empower girls to use communications technology in a safe and responsible way.

About Girl Scouts of the USA
Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls, with 3.2 million girl and adult members worldwide. Girl Scouts is the leading authority on girls' healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girl Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer or reconnect with, or donate to Girl Scouts, call 800-GSUSA-4-U (212-852-8000) or visit www.girlscouts.org.

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