The Commons Science and Technology Committee urges the government to not “scare people”, but advise them on cybersecurity
A group of MPs has told the government not to “scare people” about cybercrimes and has proposed an awareness and safety campaign to help people identify and protect themselves from online threats.
The Commons Science and Technology committee said that up to 80 per cent of online attacks could be easily prevented, but jargon proved a barrier in implementing simple security measures.
Online awareness and education
Despite noting an increase in malware attacks, a report from the committee claims that prevention steps are simply “routine IT hygiene”, and the government should be working to provide a first port of call to provide online security advice in such situations.
“Government departments need to realise that better public information about computer safety could save huge numbers of people the hassle of having their personal details stolen,” said Andrew Miller, Labour MP and chair of the committee.
“Knowledge is the best defence against fear, so the government should focus on raising awareness of how to stay safe online – rather than scaring people about the dangers of cybercrime.”
The government currently sponsors the Get Safe Online website, but the committee claims that the site is underdeveloped and virtually unknown to the public. The MPs added that the site should provide some form of dialogue between the public and police to facilitate queries and reports of cybercrime.
The committee also suggested that a “prolonged awareness-raising campaign” on TV was necessary to improve public knowledge of online security, and PCs, laptops and smartphones should be sold with advice on how to protect yourself online.