Friday, 3 February 2012

Commons Ctte wants awareness raised

Awareness should be raised for personal online protection


As online economic activity increases, the Government must increase public understanding of how to protect themselves against harmful software, 'Malware and Cyber Crime’ (HC 1537) discusses.

The Science and Technology Committee recommends that a campaign to prolong awareness of personal online security be aired on television to gain the widest possible exposure.

Malicious software is designed to infect computers to steal bank details and identity information and poses a growing threat in the UK as more people use the internet.

Routine IT hygiene accounts for 80% of protection against cyber-attack, yet currently there is no single first point of advice and help for consumers and much of the online information about internet security is often technical or jargon-filled.

The Committee recommends that more should be done to promote and resource the existing Government website Get Safe Online. Advice from Get Safe Online should be provided with every device capable of accessing the internet and all Government websites should link to the website and highlight the latest security updates.

The provision of Government services by the 'digital by default' policy will increasingly require those in receipt of Government benefits and services to access these online. The Committee raises concerns that the scheme will be of greater use in protecting the Government against welfare fraud than the individual user against crime.

The Government should investigate the potential for imposing statutory safety standards if the industry cannot demonstrate that voluntary self-regulation can improve security.