I don’t know if you can remember that far back but in April 2009 we brought you news of a Government initiative to boost the online safety of youngsters across the country, and now the campaign is back with ‘Get Safe Online’ week which was officially launched this past week.
Here at Zath we like to do our bit to promote the best bits that the internet has to offer so we thought that one and half years on we’d have another look at what ‘Get Safe Online’ is, what it’s got to offer and why you should take a look!
Firstly though an interesting piece of research actually done by the ‘Get Safe Online’ organisation was released on Monday that showed that although almost 1 in 4 (25%) of the surveyed UK adults had been approached by someone claiming to be from an IT helpdesk offering to check their PC for viruses.
That in itself isn’t that surprising – there are a lot of bad/clever people out there – but more worryingly 80% of UK internet users are unaware that such a scam exists, and although anyone reading this has no reduced that number it is still a massive percentage and just goes to show what the Get Safe Online weeks is all about.
The week all started with a summit on Monday that included speeches from a whole range of major figures in this area including the Managing Director of GetSafeOnline.org, Sir Ian Andrews from the Serious & Organised Crime Agency, Deputy Chief Constable Stuart Hyde and representative from HSBC, Microsoft, Ofcom, PayPal and Trend Micro; there was also appearance from the Minister for Crime Prevention James Brokenshire MP.
But what is at the heart of all this? Well as you may have guessed GetSafeOnline.org is a hub for promoting internet security through three main avenues: it proves more information to educate people more about the danger online, it offers advice to victims of online crime and also provides up to date information on what’s new in the world of Internet security.
Arguably this is the biggest part of the site, and most of the links you will see on the homepage will provide you information on a variety of subjects related to education: the Knowledgebase unsurprisingly contains most of this with sections specifically on how to protect your PC, how to protect yourself, protecting small businesses as well as significant amounts of resources for parents teachers and young people; the latter of these includes a whole list of things that you may find helpful including suggested ground rules for using the internet, how to use content filtering for the Internet, and information specifically written for children.
For those looking for a quicker answer to a problem there are also some quick links to some more major issues such as “Avoid online rip-offs”, “Online travel tips” and “Help me stop identity theft” as well as a series of 16 videos that cover a range of topics from the basic (how to create a strong password) to the slightly more complicated issues of securing your wireless.
Through the ‘Victim Support’ tab the site offers useful information on the solutions to any problems you may be encountering such as how to deal with suspicious email, how to protect your identity and how to undo identity theft. Whilst this may sound a little uninteresting it is at the very least useful and it’s good to know that there is somewhere that will offer simple advice when you need it!
Up To Date Information
Finally we come to the GetSafeOnline.org blog which every week or so posts more information about how to stay safe and is definitely worth a quick look just to check that you know everything! And if you don’t… well there’s helpful links to the rest of the site so you’ll easily be able to find the solution.
Of course I am aware that most of you reading this will feel that you are perfectly secure on the internet but this site will still be helpful to you for two reasons: firstly you can never really know too much on security and that extra bit of information will never go amiss so it’s definitely worth having a quick skim to see if there’s anything that you are unsure on.
Also if you know anyone that is particularly vulnerable on the internet (I’m thinking along the lines of kids, elderly people and the really thick friend that everybody has) then you can just forward the link onto them and help them get safe online! So head along to www.GetSafeOnline.org or follow them on @getsafeonline and #GetSafeOnline for more information.