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Get Safe Online 10 November 2005

    As the Island progressively adopts computing and communications technology in the home and small business, we continue to see an emerging stream of new risks associated with being connected to the Internet, whether in the shape of viruses, hackers, spamming, etc. A new technology language emerges to confuse us – Phishing, Firewalls, Spyware, Denial of Service attacks, etc. And yet, we not only adopt, but now rely on the internet for shopping, banking, travel and leisure choices, etc.

    It is vitally important that every user ensures they are effectively protected against these risks. This is not just about risks from people who are simply out to amuse themselves intellectually through being a nuisance; it is also about serious risks from organised criminals. In the corporate world, the IT department works hard to defend that vital corporate asset - information, and ensure security, resilience and availability. But at home, or in the small business, it is often harder to get to grips with what steps are necessary to ensure the PC isn’t damaged, the information isn’t corrupted, and your personal details are not stolen.

    Get Safe Online (www.getsafeonline.org) is a UK campaign deliberately aimed at home and small business users, where research has indicated that over three quarters of the UK’s population don’t know enough about protecting themselves online. In fact 42% of that population just rely on friends and family for online safety advice, rather than taking direct responsibility to understand and take the necessary steps to protect themselves. The campaign aims to increase awareness and to provide authoritative, trustworthy and independent Government and law enforcement generated information and advice to on-line users such that they will feel more confident to use the Internet safely and securely. Ultimately, the campaign aims to bring about measurable change to internet user behaviour and attitude to the security of domestic and small business ICT infrastructures and devices.

    Get Safe Online is a joint initiative between the UK Government, the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (part of the National Crime Squad), and private sector sponsors from the world of technology, retail and finance, including: BT, Dell, eBay, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Microsoft, MessageLabs, securetrading.com and Yell.com.

    Isle of Man involvement in the campaign came from Peter Ginty of the International Business School Consultancy group who, working with a UK based consultancy, provided project management services to the development of the UK campaign and key activities. The Isle of Man Government actively supports this campaign and is keen to promote the key messages of:

    • Protect your PC - use anti-spyware, anti-virus, and personal firewall, as well as ensuring your operating system is updated)
    • Protect yourself – take time to educate yourself and your family so you understand the risks and apply reasonable judgement when you’re online
    • Keep monitoring and stay alert – the threats are always changing, so it’s critical to ensure your spyware and anti-virus programmes are up to date.

    In parallel with this campaign, the Department of Trade & Industry has organised an initial series of Internet Security Awareness Courses, delivered by the International Business School, with the objective of taking the awareness of the issues directly to a target group of small businesses and helping them to apply the key steps required to ensure that they safely transact online.

    For further information please contact either:

    Allan Paterson
    Information Systems Division
    St Andrew’s House
    Finch Road
    Douglas, Isle of Man. IM1 2PX
    Telephone: 01624 685523
    Mobile: 07624 470599
    Fax: 01624 686381

    Susan Gibson
    Department of Trade & Industry
    Development Executive
    Economic Development Group
    Hamilton House
    Peel Road
    Douglas, Isle of Man. IM1 6EP
    Telephone: 01624 687187

    10th November 2005

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