UK government launches the IT Security Awareness for Everyone website

February 25, 2005

ITsafe, a new initiative to protect home computer users and micro businesses from viruses and other threats online, was launched on Wednesday 23 February by the UK Government. The IT Security Awareness for Everyone website – www.itsafe.gov.uk – offers free advice as well as virus and threat alerts allowing computer users to surf the net and send and receive emails more safely.

The service, a Home Office funded initiative, uses information provided by the National Infrastructure Security Co-ordination Centre (NISCC) - the Government’s centre for electronic defence. It aims to reassure users by advising them on how best to protect their
personal and business data.

Home Office Minister Hazel Blears said: “There is a clear need for easy-to-understand and simple independent advice for non-technically minded people who use computers either at home or at work. The purpose of this new Government service is to ensure computer users are aware of the risks involved and how to deal with them easily and effectively without causing alarm.

“Use of the Internet in homes and small businesses across the country has increased dramatically. Government statistics have shown that more than half of all households own a home computer and in 2004 it was estimated that almost 13 million of these were able to access the net. Many of us use the web and send emails every day without a second thought but there are risks and dangers we should be aware of.

“Every day more and more viruses make their way on to the Internet and into people’s home computers, arriving with little or no warning with the potential to corrupt, wipe out or steal valuable data. “Defending yourself against this type of threat is where ITsafe comes in. Signing up to this service will give users an extra level of defence in two key ways; by providing general advice on IT security and issuing official alerts if and when it is felt there is a serious enough threat from a particular virus or other form of threat.”

To sign up users can simply visit the website where they will be asked to provide their email address. For those who prefer, a text message service to a mobile phone is also
available. Alerts will consist of an email or text outlining specific threats and what damage they can do. Users will then be directed to clear, step-by-step advice on how to respond and therefore maximise the security of their computers, software and personal or business data.

Roger Cumming, Director of NISCC, said: “In our work we deal with threats to the Critical National Infrastructure – those computer systems that affect every aspect of our lives, from the banking system to the health service. “ITsafe will take our technical expertise and use it to help home users understand the risks and keep their computer systems, mobile phones and a range of related consumer electronic items, safe.”

Sir David Omand, Security & Intelligence Coordinator in the Cabinet Office, said: "The UK is an information society. Three quarters of public services are now online, e-commerce is thriving and around 13 million homes now have internet access. This brings significant social and economic benefits to thenation but, as with everything in life, there are also some associated risks which must be addressed.”

“It is essential that all IT users take precautions to protect themselves when they are online. ITsafe will alert home computer users about significant threats to their systems and give them advice and information to help them to go online safely and with confidence".

Explore further: Review: Five ways Windows 10 fixes annoyances in predecessor

Related Stories

Researchers build bacteria's photosynthetic engine

July 29, 2015

Nearly all life on Earth depends on photosynthesis, the conversion of light energy into chemical energy. Oxygen-producing plants and cyanobacteria perfected this process 2.7 billion years ago. But the first photosynthetic ...

Microsoft's free Windows 10 giveaway: What that means

July 28, 2015

Microsoft's new Windows 10 operating system debuts Wednesday, as the longtime leader in PC software hopes that giving the upgrade away for free will help it carve out a new role in a world where people increasingly rely on ...

Recommended for you

Magnetism at nanoscale

August 3, 2015

As the demand grows for ever smaller, smarter electronics, so does the demand for understanding materials' behavior at ever smaller scales. Physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory are building a unique ...

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Study calculates the speed of ice formation

August 3, 2015

Researchers at Princeton University have for the first time directly calculated the rate at which water crystallizes into ice in a realistic computer model of water molecules. The simulations, which were carried out on supercomputers, ...

Small tilt in magnets makes them viable memory chips

August 3, 2015

University of California, Berkeley, researchers have discovered a new way to switch the polarization of nanomagnets, paving the way for high-density storage to move from hard disks onto integrated circuits.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.