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BCS Teams With Get Safe Online For Cyber-Security Education

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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BCS expert volunteers are to help educate communities about simple cyber-safety tips

BCS, the chartered institute for IT, has launched a cyber-safety initiative in conjunction with Get Safe Online that aims to bring online security education to local communities.

The programme, called Cyber to the Citizen, comes shortly after the UK government’s National Cyber Security Programme launched its Cyber Streetwise scheme earlier this month, with a website that offers range of resources and advice for businesses and consumers on how to best protect themselves online.

Community education

BCS is taking a more personal approach, aiming to link expert volunteers from its membership with local communities to provide practical advice and education, including demonstrating safeguards such as using PIN passwords and keeping software up-to-date.

Cyber crime security credit card - Shutterstock - © David EvisonGet Safe Online and BCS say that in the longer term they would like to see BCS members training members of communities and businesses to offer the advice themselves, further extending the reach of the campaign.

“We are aiming to make a major contribution to minimising online crime and other threats by increasing awareness of how to stay safe online and change behaviours,” says John Doody, cyber lead for BCS Security.

Get Safe Online says the message it wants to get across is that small changes in behaviour can make a significant difference in improving security.

“The internet is a hugely positive thing and with a bit of extra vigilance, people needn’t be worried about being caught out by cyber criminals,” adds Get Safe Online chief executive Tony Neate.

Child safety

At the scheme’s launch event last week Alun Cairns MP said he sees Cyber to the Citizen helping keep children safe online in ways that the government’s efforts, such as the recent introduction of child abuse filters, cannot. He also called upon the BBC to use “storylines” to improve awareness of IT safety.

In July, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) across the UK will be forced to offer an “opt-out” adult content filter, as part of the government’s efforts to protect children online.

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