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Get Safe Online


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Millions of UK Internet users are putting themselves at risk of attack from Internet criminals because they don’t understand threats to their computer or the ways to protect against them.

These are the findings of a new campaign called ‘Get Safe Online’ launched on 27 October, to tackle this serious problem.


As threats from organised Internet criminals grow, new research from Get Safe Online has found that over three quarters of the UK’s population (83%) don’t know enough about protecting themselves online. In fact 42% of the population just rely on friends and family for online safety advice rather than finding expert information for themselves.

The Get Safe Online Report which supports the launch reveals the extent of public uncertainty in the UK, where the online retail economy is worth £10 billion a year and 14 million use online banking.

To help the public educate themselves, the campaign will raise public awareness of the issues and provide solutions through a new website - www.getsafeonline.org. Which claims to be a one-stop-shop for reliable, up-to-date information about online safety, to give home users and small businesses the advice they need to use the Internet safely.

The campaign is a joint initiative between the Government, the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit, part of the National Crime Squad and private sector sponsors from the worlds of technology, retail and finance, including: BT, Dell, eBay, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Microsoft, MessageLabs, securetrading.com and Yell.com.

Launching the fleet of 10 Get Safe Online Campaign Minis that will carry campaign ambassadors on a public advice tour of major UK cities, TV presenter Richard Hammond explained the simple steps everyone should learn: “We wouldn’t leave our front door open or our cars unlocked, but we regularly use the net without taking basic precautions. It’s not difficult to use the Internet safely; it comes down to some basic rules we should all remember."

Firstly, Protect your PC
Ensure your PC is secure by doing a ‘SAFE’ check:

S = Spyware - run an anti-spyware programme
A
= Anti-virus - get anti-virus protection
F
= Firewall - have a firewall and make sure it’s switched on
E
= Ensure your operating system is updated

Secondly, Protect Yourself
Take time to educate yourself and your family so you understand the risks and apply reasonable judgement when you’re online

Thirdly, Keep Monitoring and stay alert
The threats are always changing so it’s important to ensure your spyware and anti-virus programmes are up to date.

And if you can’t remember that – you just have to remember one web address: www.getsafeonline.org  

October 2005

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