BCS launches initiative to help people keep safe online

16 January 2014

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, is today launching a new initiative - Cyber to the Citizen - to help people understand how to keep themselves safe online. The initiative is in conjunction with Get Safe Online.

John Doody, Cyber Lead for BCS Security explains: “36 million of us used the internet every day in 2013; it is our channel of choice to communicate, make financial transactions and access services, and it provides us with many benefits. Therefore it is imperative that we all understand how to keep ourselves safe online. This is an issue that many more people are aware of these days, but don’t necessarily know what they can do.”  

Figures from the Office for National Statistics* reveal that access to the internet using a mobile phone more than doubled between 2010 and 2013, from 24% to 53%, and 72% of all adults bought goods or services online.

John continues: “Through our partnership with Get Safe Online, 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.”

The initiative aims to link volunteers from the Institute’s expert IT membership with local communities to provide practical advice and education demonstrating what they can do to stay safe online. The advice will include how to implement simple safeguards such as setting up and using PIN passwords and ensuring that software is kept up to date through automatic updates etc.

Tony Neate, Chief Executive, Get Safe Online comments: “We’re delighted to be partnering with BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, to help deliver this new initiative. 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. The big message we are trying to put across is that implementing a few small behaviour changes can make a big difference when it comes to enjoying the internet safely. It’s a fantastic opportunity to be working alongside BCS to help put this message out there.”

The initiative will kick off with an event at which Alun Cairns MP, will talk to BCS members about the issues and what the Government is doing. Volunteers will also hear from Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online, Will Gardner, CEO of ChildNet, and Susie Hargreaves, CEO of the Internet Watch Foundation.

Alun Cairns, MP, says: “Ensuring that individuals can enjoy the benefits of the digital world and understand how to maintain their privacy and security are vital as our reliance on technology continues to grow.”

John concludes: “This is an incredibly important issue and one that has been in the media frequently in recent months. We know that it is one that BCS members have opinions on so rather than simply talking about the issue, we want to encourage them to get involved, take action and make a real difference.”


*Office for National Statistics - Internet Access - Households and Individuals, 2013 

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