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Blog publish date is 12 January 2023 Personnel Security

Think Before You Link - success so far

One of CPNI’s most recent campaign’s – Think Before You Link – took a new pioneering direction for CPNI in becoming the first campaign we have developed into an app. As a CPNI customer, we wanted to share with you some of the key successes over this year and thank the several thousand of you who have downloaded and used the app.

Since piloting the app with key partners in early 2022, the app has been through several updates which helped us develop our approach to bringing the content to life and enhance or add new features to help individuals stay secure when engaging on social and networking platforms. Naturally, it was a hard balance to make sure that we covered all the aspects of a malicious profile without it sounding too simplistic or condescending, but feedback shows that we seem to have struck the right balance with over 12,000 lessons completed and an excellent engagement rate on the app. 

Unprecedented Partner Engagement

We are also pleased to have onboard over 60 partner organisations who have launched the app within their organisations - which bring the added benefits of tailored content along with important management information to share upwards with organisational seniors. Additionally, partners also benefit from the sharing of malicious activity reported by their staff if they have signed up with the organisations code. Over time we will look to improve our offer to our partners – with more information on the trends of activity we are seeing across their sector and all sectors.

Major Milestone Reached: 20,000 App Users

With our partnerships and unprecedented outreach, as of Christmas Day we have over 20,000 app users. This figure continues to rise, and we will have some further exciting updates for our userbase in the coming months, including a more intuitive design and added features.

Reporting Boom: Over 300 Reports Received

Of equal importance, one of the main benefits of the app has been the profile reviewer and reporting mechanism. CPNI would like to thank all of those who have submitted a report, whilst we can’t go back to everyone who has submitted a report and tell them of the outcome, what I can say here is that over 300 reports have been submitted and of those analysed several are being investigated further for their links to adversarial foreign intelligence agencies. This is an excellent outcome, as this can enables us to track trends in our adversaries methodology, identify new malicious profiles and organisations they are using and understand their objectives.

Research Led

Throughout the year, we have been evaluating the app and the campaign and we continue to see that at least 50% of professionals would accept connection requests automatically, solely based on trust (for example if the profile had several mutual friends/connections). More alarmingly at the early stage of the evaluation looking at baselining behaviours, we were concerned that 78% (three-quarters) of individuals link to profiles they do not recognise, and the same number believe they have linked to profiles that might be malicious. This demonstrates the real need for us to raise awareness of malicious approaches which might often be done by organised criminals but invariably could be hostile foreign intelligence services looking to infiltrate organisations and garner information from unsuspecting staff members.

Additionally, throughout the qualitive research we have conducted, it clearly shows this issue sits in a mixed space between an individual’s personal life and professional life. This is the reason we have created the app – to help individuals understand the risk and signs and report through an easy mechanism.

Further Information

We would therefore like to thank everyone who has engaged with the app so far and we would encourage any organisation who would like to take part, please feel free to get in touch using your CPNI advisor or through the Contact Us form on our website. If you would like to learn more about the app please feel free to visit or Search Think Before You Link in Google. Alternatively, if you would like to use this resource straight away it is available to download for free from Apple iOS and Google Android Play stores*.

*Please ensure your device is running the latest version of its operating software to ensure compatibility.

How to download the Think Before You Link app

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